A British choose on Monday blocked the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the USA to face espionage costs, discovering he was at severe threat of suicide.

District Decide Vanessa Baraitser stated the 49-year-old Australian writer confronted “oppressive” situations in most safety isolation if detained within the US. In court docket, Assange wiped his brow as the choice was introduced whereas his fiancée Stella Moris burst into tears and was embraced by WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson.

Exterior the Previous Bailey court docket in central London, his supporters who had gathered since early morning erupted in cheers and shouted “Free Assange!”

Julian Assange and his authorized workforce have lengthy argued that the protracted case, which has change into a trigger to rejoice for media freedom, was politically motivated. Assange was remanded in custody till a bail listening to on Wednesday. Any choice to dam extradition ought to meet a excessive bar given Britain’s treaty obligations, Baraitser stated.

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Julian Assange can’t be extradited to US: British court

However going through the “harsh situations” doubtless within the US jail system, Assange’s psychological well being would deteriorate, “inflicting him to commit suicide” with the willpower of an individual with an autism spectrum dysfunction, she dominated, siding with a analysis by psychologists.

Baraitser rejected US consultants’ testimony that Assange; could be shielded from self-harm, noting that others reminiscent of disgraced US financier Jeffery Epstein; had managed to kill themselves in custody regardless of wardens’ supervision.

She stated, “Because of this, I’ve determined extradition could be oppressive; by motive of psychological hurt and I order his discharge.”

The US non-profit Freedom of the Press Basis; stated the case towards Assange was “probably the most harmful risk to US press freedom in a long time.”

“The extradition request was not selected press freedom grounds, reasonably the choose basically dominated the US jail system was too repressive to extradite.”

Fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden stated he hoped Monday’s ruling would mark “the tip” of the case towards Assange.

Baraitser rejected claims of political motivation within the case; and stated Assange’s actions went “nicely past” {that a} journalist; and he would have been “nicely conscious” of the risks the leak of paperwork posed.

Julian Assange is needed to face 18 costs in the USA; referring to the 2010 launch by WikiLeaks of 500,000 secret information detailing points of army campaigns; in Afghanistan and Iraq.

If convicted within the US Assange faces as much as 175 years in jail. Earlier than the ruling, each Germany and a UN rights skilled expressed concern; over the human rights and humanitarian issues introduced by the extradition.

Assange has a historical past of melancholy and a respiratory situation; that makes him extra weak to COVID-19 which has contaminated a number of inmates; on the high-security jail the place he has been held in London.

He has additionally complained of listening to imaginary voices and music throughout his detention.

UN particular rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer has urged US President Donald Trump to pardon Julian Assange, saying he’s not “an enemy of the American folks”.