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IBA says Assange trial ‘politically charged’
Julian Assange supporters have started a billboard campaign in London Pic: Katherine Da Silva, Shutterstock

18 Sep 2020 / global Print

IBA says Assange trial is ‘politically charged’

The human rights arm of the International Bar Association has warned that the potential extradition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from the UK to the US would be in breach of an extradition treaty between the two countries.

The statement from the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) came as Assange’s trial resumed in London.

The IBAHRI also said the extradition of Assange would constitute “a violation of freedom of expression” and would “set a dangerous precedent” in the restriction of press freedom.

It also warned that the Wikileaks founder could face an unfair trial in the US which could see him receive a sentence of up to 175 years imprisonment.

Alleged US war crimes

The organisation’s co-chair and former justice of the High Court of Australia, Michael Kirby, said the charges against Julian Assange related to his publication of information of alleged US war crimes, making the material of interest to the general public.

IBAHRI director Helena Kennedy said the human rights group was concerned that the case was politically charged.

“We can have little confidence in the extremely polarised situation in the US at present, and are concerned that there is a risk to justice in the case of Julian Assange.

“We hope that the English court hearing his case is true to its commitment to the rule of law, human rights and justice, and delivers a fair outcome in this extradition hearing,” she added.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland