Sunday, June 4, 2023

Assange situation raises media liberty considerations: UN legal rights chief – Times of India

GENEVA: UN legal rights chief Michelle Bachelet said Saturday that the potential extradition and prosecution of Julian Assange lifted worries for media flexibility and could have a “chilling result” on investigative journalism.
Assange, who has been held in a high-stability London jail due to the fact 2019, has submitted an charm versus his extradition from Britain to the United States.
The Australian is desired to encounter demo for allegedly violating the US Espionage Act by publishing categorized US navy and diplomatic documents in 2010, relevant to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The 51-12 months-old could face a long time in jail if observed guilty, but supporters portray him as a martyr to press freedom after he was taken into British custody adhering to just about 7 yrs within Ecuador’s embassy in London.
“I am mindful of health and fitness concerns which Assange has endured all through his time in detention, and continue being concerned for his bodily and mental nicely-becoming,” Bachelet mentioned in a assertion following meeting with the WikiLeaks founder’s wife and legal professionals on Thursday.
“The likely extradition and prosecution of Assange raises fears relating to media flexibility and a doable chilling impact on investigative journalism and on the actions of whistle-blowers.
“In these situation, I would like to emphasise the value of ensuring respect of Assange’s human rights, in certain the ideal to a truthful trial and because of process assures in this situation.
“My workplace will proceed to carefully observe Mr. Assange’s case.”
Bachelet’s term as the United Nations higher commissioner for human legal rights finishes on Wednesday, soon after four decades in the publish.
The former Chilean president’s successor has not nevertheless been appointed.
The US-based mostly Assange Protection Committee coalition battling to free the previous computer hacker said the authorized struggle above his extradition was heating up on multiple fronts.
“Assange’s attorneys pressured the authorized and human legal rights implications of the case, although Stella Assange up to date Bachelet on the effects several years of confinement have experienced on Julian’s wellbeing and loved ones,” the statement said.
The Assange situation has become a bring about celebre for media freedom and his supporters accuse Washington of making an attempt to muzzle reporting of respectable security issues.

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