- Michelle Bachelet has warned that the extradition of Julian Assange to the US would have a negative impact on press freedom around the world.
- The outgoing UN human rights commissioner made the remarks after meeting with the WikiLeaks founder’s wife and lawyers in Geneva.
- Assange has been held in a high-security prison near London since 2019.
“The extradition and prosecution of Mr. Assange raises concerns about the potential chilling effect on media freedom and investigative journalism and whistleblowing activities,” Bachelet said.
After nearly seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Assange has been held in a high-security prison near the British capital since 2019. In early July, the 51-year-old appealed against the British government’s decision to extradite him to the United States.
The Australian faces up to 175 years in prison for publishing about 700,000 classified documents to his website WikiLeaks in 2010, including those related to US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Bachelet met with Assange’s wife and his lawyers on Thursday. The UN Human Rights Commissioner has expressed concern for his physical and mental well-being.
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