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Julian Assange ‘targeted as a political opponent of Trump administration and threatened with the death penalty’

Julian Assange ‘targeted as a political opponent of Trump administration and threatened with the death penalty’ Evening Standard. By Tristan Kirk. @kirkkorner

09 September 2020,   Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been targeted as a “political opponent” of President Trump’s administration and threatened with the death penalty, the Old Bailey heard today.

Professor Paul Rogers, a lecturer in peace studies at Bradford University and specialist on the ‘War on Terror’, said Assange’s opinions put him “in the crosshairs” of Trump’s top team.

Giving evidence to Assange’s extradition hearing this morning, he said he believes the prosecution case is part of a drive in the United States to target “dissenters”.

“In my opinion Mr Assange’s expressed views, opinions and activities demonstrate very clearly ‘political opinions’”, he told the court.

“The clash of those opinions with those of successive US administrations, but in particular the present administration which has moved to prosecute him for publications made almost a decade ago, suggest that he is regarded primarily as a political opponent who must experience the full wrath of government, even with suggestions of punishment by death made by senior officials including the current President.”………

Professor Rogers, in his witness statement, said Assange’s work involved exposing secrets that the US government wanted to keep hidden, he had been in conflict with the Obama administration, but there was “no question” that Assange had been targeted as a political opponent by Trump’s officials.

“The opinions and views of Mr Assange, demonstrated in his words and actions with the organisation WikiLeaks over many years, can be seen as very clearly placing him in the crosshairs of dispute with the philosophy of the Trump administration”, he said.

Assange’s legal team argue that a decision was taken under President Obama not to prosecute the Wikileaks activist, but that move was overturned under Trump. https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/julian-assange-donald-trump-administration-old-bailey-hearing-a4543656.html?fbclid=IwAR3Rj4n0Lzlt5GmE1lXZXoMVDsOS5BdT9sEKgj82SCmMnpNLFQ6ZfEzVUOI

November 16, 2020 - Posted by | civil liberties, Legal, politics, USA

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