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OSCE media freedom rep calls on UK not to extradite Assange due to ‘excessive’ US prison sentence
The UK should not extradite Julian Assange, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has argued, because he faces an excessive prison sentence in the US and his publications were in the public interest.
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Desir expressed concern over Assange's upcoming extradition hearing at London’s Woolwich Crown Court on Monday. He called on UK authorities to refuse to hand over Assange to Washington, citing the “disproportionate prison sentence, up to a total of 175 years, that he could potentially face if extradited and convicted.”
Desir argued that WikiLeaks has provided “important investigative reports and news reporting” and Assange's extradition would have a “chilling effect” on freedom of expression and media freedom. Assange has been charged under the Espionage Act over the publication of leaked documents that revealed possible war crimes by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan.