Tuesday, January 05, 2021

A dangerous decision for journalism

Last night, a British court ruled that Julian Assange cannot be extradited to the US. Unfortunately, its not because all he is "guilty" of is journalism, or because the offence the US wants to charge him with - espionage - is of an inherently political nature; instead the judge accepted all the US's arguments that exposing US war crimes is a crime, and accused Assange of violating the UK's draconian Official Secrets Act to boot. Instead, Assange has been saved by his poor mental health: he's likely to kill himself in US custody, and the US wouldn't be able to prevent it. If it saves him from extradition to the US to face persecution and continuing mental torture in a US supermax, that's good. But its no victory for journalism, or the right of citizens to hold their governments to account. But then, did we really expect justice on that front from a British court anyway?