Assange supporters in UK hold protest to mark arrest anniversary

·2-min read
Julian Assange
Julian Assange

London [UK], April 12 (ANI/Sputnik): Julian Assange supporters held protests in London on Sunday to mark two years since the WikiLeaks founder was dragged out of the Ecuadorean embassy in London and imprisoned in the United Kingdom, where he is waiting in jail for the outcome of an extradition request filed by the United States.

Activists gathered outside the embassy of Ecuador, the Westminster Magistrates Court and the maximum-security prison of Belmarsh, in south London, to request his release.

"To have someone in prison for exposing criminal acts while the people who perpetrated these criminal acts are outside is ridiculous," Isaac, one of the protesters told Sputnik outside the prison, where a group of people chanted: "there is only one decision, no extradition."

According to the Don't Extradite Assange Campaign, similar protests were also held on Sunday in Washington, New York City, London, Berlin and Sydney.

WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson was also quoted as saying: "It's long past time for this injustice to end and we continue to appeal to the United States and the Department of Justice to drop the appeal and all the charges against Julian. This gross injustice must come to an end."

Assange was arrested in London on April 11, 2019, and sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for jumping his bail back in 2012, when he took refuge inside the Ecuadorean embassy in the UK capital to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he was facing sexual assault charges that were later dropped by the Swedish justice.

The whistleblower is wanted by the US Justice Department on espionage and computer fraud charges after WikiLeaks published thousands of secret files and classified information that shed light on war crimes committed by US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. He faces up to 175 years in solitary confinement inside a top security US prison if convicted in the US.

In January, UK district judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled not to extradite Assange to the United States, citing health reasons and the risk of suicide in the US prison system, but decided that he must wait in prison for the outcome of an appeal filed by the US prosecutors. (ANI/Sputnik)