Landmark ruling offers hope of protection for both whistleblowers and journalists in a case that has been extensively criticised by activists and human rights lawyers.
A judge has ruled that Julian Assange cannot be extradited to the US. The ruling comes following years of commentary on the legality of the rights of whistleblowers and journalists who unveiled information important for public awareness. Assange’s partner believes the case is politically motivated.
The decision is expected to be appealed following months of hearings heard at the Old Bailey court in London. Since his arrest, activists and journalists have decried the appalling treatment of Assange and for the lack of rights, he has been given.
It is understood that the US will immediately appeal the decision, though it remains unknown how successful it will be as this will depend on several factors.
Veteran journalist John Pilger told the Independent “If Julian Assange is extradited to the US, the very idea of a journalism that’s free is lost. No journalist who dares to challenge rapacious power and reveal the truth will be safe.”
Julian Assange was charged with assisting Chelsea Manning to hack encrypted data from US networks which may have endangered operatives in the field. Both Assange and Manning deny anyone’s safety was compromised.