Julian Assange’s extradition hearing postponed amid coronavirus pandemic

Julian Assange’s extradition hearing in the United Kingdom was postponed on Monday amid coronavirus pandemic.

Whistleblower Assange is wanted in the United States on charges related to what Amnesty International describes as his “lawful publishing activities”.

Amnesty International commended the decision of the court to delay the hearing saying it was the right thing to do.

Amnesty’s Massimo Moratti Deputy Director of the Europe Office, said “the decision to postpone Julian Assange’s extradition hearings is the right one.”

“There is immense pressure on judicial systems everywhere due to the COVID-19 crisis, and it is imperative that courts still provide people with a fair process.

“The court has rightly recognized that the obstacles are too many – and the stakes too high – to push through with the hearing under such circumstances.

“Going ahead on such a compressed schedule and using video-link as opposed to in-person testimony at this crucial evidentiary stage would have put Julian Assange at a distinct disadvantage. He has had little meaningful access to his legal team since the lockdown, leaving minimal time to prepare an adequate defense.

“It makes sense to delay the proceedings so that Julian Assange can prepare a defense against his transfer to the US on charges related to his lawful publishing activities. We believe that Mr. Assange should not be sent to the US under any circumstances as he will be at risk of serious human rights violations,” Moratti added.

Chief White House Correspondent for

Simon Ateba is Chief White House Correspondent for Today News Africa. Simon covers President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, the U.S. government, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions in Washington D.C. and New York City.

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