China News Service, February 24 (Zhang Aolin) "Britain must resist." WikiLeaks founder Assange yelled when he was arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Assange was arrested by the British precisely because the United States asked the British to extradite him.
Data Figure: Assange
On the 24th, the British court will start a comprehensive hearing on Assange ’s extradition. If the man who publicly deciphered the US military scandal was eventually sentenced to extradition, he could face up to 175 years in prison for 18 counts.
"Fate-Critical" Extradition Hearing
-175 years in prison? Sent to the United States is equivalent to a death sentence?
Australian Assange, 48, is currently serving his sentence in the heavily guarded Belmarsh prison. In April 2019, he was arrested by British police and later sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for breaching bail conditions.
Data map: On April 11, 2019, British police arrested WikiLeaks founder Assange.
Now, after spending months in the "Guantanamo Prison in Britain", he will usher in another important "trial". The comprehensive extradition hearing opened today will determine whether he will be extradited to the United States for trial .
In June 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice made a request to the United Kingdom to extradite Assange to the United States on charges of 18 counts including suspected of assaulting a US government computer and violating the spy law. If convicted, he could face up to 175 years in prison.
Assange's father, John Shipton, said recently that he thinks his son may be very worried, "because being sent to the United States is equivalent to being sentenced to death."
However, this high-profile hearing will not rule quickly. The hearing will be divided into two parts. The first part will start today for a week and the second part will start on May 18 for three weeks.
The US Government's "eyes"
-Participated in one of the largest classified leaks in American history!
So, what exactly did Assange do that made the United States have to chase him back to trial?
Data Map: US Army in Iraq.
Back in 2010, WikiLeaks, a website created by Assange, published a large number of confidential US government documents about the war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Among the published documents is a video of U.S. forces shooting and killing innocent civilians in Iraq. In the video, a US Apache helicopter shot wildly at pedestrians on the ground in Baghdad, killing 18 people.
After the video was released, the world was shocked. As a result, the image of American diplomacy suffered a huge blow, and Assange became the "eye of the US government."
After Assange was jailed in the UK this year, the U.S. Department of Justice added additional charges against him, including obtaining, receiving and disclosing confidential information. The Justice Department said Assange was arrested under an extradition treaty between the United States and Britain and said he was involved in one of the largest classified information leaks in American history.
Seven-year sheltered "snail house" life
——After all, he failed to escape the end of the arrest
Assange's situation became very difficult after the disclosure of confidential US documents. Swedish prosecutors also accused him of rape that year. Although Assange, who was in the UK, denied all charges after his arrest, the British Supreme Court ruled that he could be extradited to Sweden.
Facing the pursuit of the United States and Switzerland, Assange hid in the Ecuadorian embassy during his bail in 2012, seeking asylum.
Data sheet: Assange makes a statement on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
During the "evacuation" of the embassy, Assange's space for movement was limited to a room of less than 20 square meters. The way to contact the outside world was a small balcony. Accompanying him was a tabby cat named "James".
According to reports, Assange has not stepped out of the embassy in 7 years. Although the living space was closed, Assange did not stop his "decryption" work.
In October 2016, he unveiled a series of private emails from US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, triggering the "mail door" incident, which caused the Democratic Party to fall into chaos during a crucial period of the presidential election; in March 2017, WikiLeaks published thousands of pages The CIA ’s confidential documents revealed “the CIA ’s full ability to perform hacking attacks”.
After Moreno became president of Ecuador in 2017, Assange's life began to be difficult. The embassy has repeatedly "disconnected" Assange, accusing him of leaking information that is not conducive to the Ecuadorian government.
Moreno even publicly called Assange "a legacy" and "embarrassing existence."
As the conflict with the Ethiopian authorities deepened, Assange was eventually "abandoned" by Ecuador. In April 2019, Ecuador revoked his political asylum and was arrested by British police at the embassy.
Concerns behind worsening health
—Father worried that son “may die in prison”
Over the years, from the "snail house" embassy to the imprisoned prison, Assange, who lost his freedom and suffered physical and mental torture, is not optimistic.
Data Figure: Assange
As early as May 2019, WikiLeaks released news that Assange had been urgently transferred to the ward of the Belmarsh prison in the United Kingdom because of serious deterioration in his health. His lawyer Samuelson even said that Assange was unable to talk to him normally. Subsequently, Assange was released on parole for medical treatment.
Not only that, but his father Shipton also said in November 2019 that after visiting his son in prison, he thought he might die in prison after nine years of investigation "persecution".
A few days ago, the famous medical magazine "The Lancet" even published a letter from 117 doctors and psychologists around the world. The letter called, "The relevant government should end the torture of Assange and ensure that he gets the best medical Care, otherwise it may be too late. "
The founder of WikiLeaks
——If Trump extradites, will Trump pardon Assange?
Although the hearing on the extradition of Assange to the United States will not yield results in a short period of time, once the extradition is ruled, one cannot help wondering about the ending of the WikiLeaks founder in the United States. What finally awaited him was a decades-long prison life, or a possible unexpected turnaround.
Data Map: US President Trump
On February 19, Assange's lawyers "breaked the news" at the preliminary hearing, saying that Trump had entrusted then U.S. Republican Rep. Rolla Baker to visit Assange and told him that he would publicly clarify Hillary ’s "Gate" has nothing to do with Russia, Trump will pardon him.
In fact, as early as WikiLeaks exposed Hillary's "mail door", Trump said, "I love WikiLeaks."
However, after taking office, he changed his attitude towards Assange, having stated that he had no opinion on the arrest of Assange. The White House also denied the recent "breaking news".
It is worth noting that Assange was prepared to tell the matter in person at an extradition hearing, and the judge said that this statement could be accepted.
If the British court rules and agrees to extradite Assange to the United States for trial, is it possible for Trump to pardon Assange? It remains to be seen what Assange will announce in court. (Finish)