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Assange’s US Extradition Hearing Opens Monday: Fight for the Free Press Is Now On

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s US extradition hearing opens Monday. Finally, his legal team can argue in a court over the offenses listed in the indictment against the journalist who published government documents exposing US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The prosecution of Assange threatens press freedom. This is the first time that the US Espionage Act has been used against a publisher. Ahead of the proceedings in a UK court, professionals, activists and human rights defenders around the world are coming together to intervene in this highly politicized case.

In anticipation of Monday’s hearing, a powerful light was shone by protestors projecting footage of the US military airstrike on Iraq civilians onto the British Parliament building. It reminded all, of the reason why Assange sits in a maximum high security prison.

On Tuesday, a group of doctors representing 117 physicians and psychologists from 18 nations penned an open letter in the Lancet medical journal, appealing to governments to end the torture of Mr. Assange, and provide the best available healthcare before it is too late.

The Doctors for Assange group asserted:

Should Assange die in a UK prison, as the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has warned, he will........

© Common Dreams