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U.K. Judge Blocks Julian Assange’s Extradition to U.S., Citing Suicide Risk

A British judge has rejected the US’s request to extradite Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, on spying charges. The judge cited suicide risk as a reason to reject the extradition request. The decision marks a setback in the US’s agenda to punish Assange, who was found responsible for publishing classified documents related to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. A US government lawyer appealed the case, meaning that another hearing will be held in the coming months at the High Court in London.

The judge in question, Vanessa Baraitser, stated that Assange was already considering suicide and the prospect of detention in isolation in the US would likely renew these harmful thoughts. Baraitser furthered that Assange has the intellect and motivation to evade anti-suicide protocols in US jails. Baraitser also claimed that Assange would receive a fair trial and likely be prosecuted in the UK without US extradition.

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