UN rights expert urges UK government to halt extradition of Julian Assange

by Alexis Boddy at jurist.org

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Alice Jill Edwards, urged the UK government Tuesday to stop the impending extradition of Julian Assange to the US. She urged the government to carefully consider Assange’s appeal and cited significant concerns that his extradition could put him at risk of treatment amounting to torture.

The Special Rapporteur called for the British government to reconsider the extradition order and make sure it complies with the absolute prohibition against sending individuals to places where they might face torture and “other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. She also urged them “to take all the necessary measures to safeguard Mr. Assange’s physical and mental health.”

Assange is currently being held at Belmarsh prison in the UK, and the British government had already ordered his extradition to the US in June 2022. He is currently in the process of appealing that decision and is due to appear at the High Court on February 20-21. In that hearing, the court will be reassessing an earlier ruling that had denied Assange permission to appeal the decision to extradite.