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US granted permission to appeal UK court decision blocking Julian Assange’s extradition

The US government has received “limited permission” to challenge the UK decision not to send Assange to the United States to stand trial, WikiLeaks said on Wednesday. 

London’s High Court ruled in January that the imprisoned journalist should not be extradited, citing concerns about his mental health and wellbeing.

Assange has spent more than two years behind bars at London’s maxim-security Belmarsh Prison. The US Justice Department has charged the Australian journalist under the Espionage Act, accusing him of leaking classified information in 2010. At the time, WikiLeaks published documents detailing abuses, including possible war crimes, carried out by the US military in Afghanistan and Iraq. If found guilty, Assange could be sentenced to 175 years behind bars. 

There have been increasing calls for Assange’s release following the decision to block his extradition, with many arguing that there is no longer sufficient reason to keep him in prison. 

The US case against the journalist suffered a major setback last month, after a key witness admitted to an Icelandic news outlet that he’d fabricated accusations against the Australian.

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