A British judge has rejected a US request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to America, ruling that such a move would be “oppressive” by reason of his mental health.
District Judge Vanessa Baraitser said that Assange would likely commit suicide if sent to the United States as his clinical depression would be exacerbated by the isolation he would face in a top-security prison. Assange had the “intellect and determination” to circumvent any suicide prevention measures the authorities could take, she said.
The U.S. government said it would appeal the decision.
“I find that the mental condition of Mr. Assange is such that it would be oppressive to extradite him to the United States of America,” said Baraitser in her ruling on Monday.
In her full ruling, published online, Judge Baraitser wrote: “I accept that oppression as a bar to extradition requires a high threshold … However, I am satisfied that, in these harsh conditions, Mr. Assange’s mental health would deteriorate causing him to commit suicide with the ‘single minded determination’ of his autism spectrum disorder.”
“I find that the mental condition of Mr. Assange is such that it would be oppressive to extradite him to the United States of America,” she added.
A packed crowd of supporters celebrated the news outside the Old Bailey in London on Monday, shouting: “Free, free, free, Assange!”
The US said it would appeal against the decision and asked for the WikiLeaks founder to be remanded in custody while that process was ongoing.
Assange’s lawyers and supporters have long argued that the extradition order against him is politically motivated, and that, if carried out, it would have a chilling effect on the freedom of the press in both the United States and the United Kingdom.
Speaking outside court on Monday, Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief, said he was concerned that the decision would be appealed and called on President Donald Trump to “end this now.”
Assange has now been returned to the high-security Belmarsh Prison in South London ahead of an application on Wednesday for his release on bail.
Ohio Republican Rob Portman Announces that He Won’t Be Seeking Re-Election
America first nationalists must capitalize on this opening in the senate.
On January 25, 2021, Ohio Senator Rob Portman announced that he will not be seeking re-election in 2022. The 2022 election cycle will be a critical mid-term cycle which will determine what course the Republican Party will take in the wake of Trump’s defeat.
According to a report at The Epoch Times, Portman cited “partisan gridlock in Congress and political polarization” as his main reasons for leaving the Senate.
“I feel fortunate to have been entrusted by the people of Ohio to represent them in the U.S. Senate. Today, I am announcing that I have made a decision not to run again in 2022,” Portman said in a statement.
The Republican senator continued, “I don’t think any Senate office has been more successful in getting things done, but honestly, it has gotten harder and harder to break through the partisan gridlock and make progress on substantive policy, and that has contributed to my decision.”
In Portman’s view, the United States has become “increasingly polarized where members of both parties are being pushed further to the right and further to the left, and that means too few people who are actively looking to find common ground.” Portman also contended that “This is not a new phenomenon, of course, but a problem that has gotten worse over the past few decades.” He concluded by stating that “This is a tough time to be in public service.”
Portman accompanies his colleagues Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey and North Carolina Senator Richard Burr in retiring from office. Portman’s presence won’t be missed. He voted for the Iraq War and even betrayed President Trump by voting against his national emergency declaration at the border. To add insult to injury, Portman has routinely talked smack about President Trump behind his back.
2022 is shaping up to be an interesting year for Republicans with numerous seats in play. With regards to open seats, there will be unique opportunities for America First nationalists to shine in. Ohio is ground zero for the emerging populist realignment taking place in America. Once a state that could go either way during a given election cycle, Ohio is now a safe Republican state.
America First nationalists should milk this opening for what it’s worth and place a staunch nationalist to run for the open GOP seat in 2022. This will be the first midterm where populists can begin purging the party of neocons and other establishment types.
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