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Consortium News

Feb 16, 2024

With Professor Stuart Rees, Mary Kostakidis, Senator David Shoebridge, Jennifer Robinson, Dr Arthur Chesterfield-Evans and Joe Lauria.

The event focused largely on health risks if Julian Assange, who faces DAY X, his final U.K. appeal on February 20-21, is extradited to the US, and new law in the UK regarding a requesting State's assurances.

In 2021, U.S. assurances were accepted by the U.K. High Court to overturn a lower court decision not to extradite him on health grounds, but Mr Assange's state of health has significantly deteriorated since then.

The Australian all-party ‘Bring Assange Home’ parliamentary group has sent a letter to the UK Home Secretary James Cleverly, requesting an investigation into health risks, should Assange be extradited. to which Senator Shoebridge is one of the four signatories.

It begins and ends with the following two quotes: "We know that you will be well aware of the UK Supreme Court decision that related to your office reported as AAA v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2023] UKSC 42 (hereafter “AAA”). The decision found that courts in the United Kingdom cannot just rely on third party assurances by foreign governments but rather are required to make independent assessments of the risk of persecution to individuals before any order is made removing them from the UK…"

"...we are requesting that you undertake an urgent, thorough and independent assessment of the risks to Mr Assange’s health and welfare in the event he is extradited to the United States. Consistent with the decision in AAA it appears to us that such independent investigation should include a close review of the risks to Mr Assange’s health, life and wellbeing through prolonged detention in one or more high security US detention facilities."

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