US request to extradite whistleblower Julian Assange, denied by UK judge

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A US request to extradite Julian Assange was rejected by a British judge due to it being an “oppressive” move owing to his mental health. Assange, 49, was charged under the USA’s Espionage Act in his role for publishing classified military information.

Judge Vanessa Baraitser decided that it would be oppressive and furthermore ordered his discharge, during her ruling on Monday. Assange would likely be held in “special administrative measures” that could severely impact his mental health, despite ruling that he would be afforded a “fair trial”. 

The judge further wrote on her full ruling which is published online: “I accept that oppression as a bar to extradition requires a high threshold … However, I am satisfied that, in these harsh conditions, Mr. Assange’s mental health would deteriorate causing him to commit suicide with the ‘single minded determination’ of his autism spectrum disorder.”