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'Hard to Believe': Snowden Slams Degradation of Human Rights in UK's Decision to Extradite Assange

© Photo : Twitter / @valtaprosessiA picture of former US NSA Contractor Edward Snowden posted on Twitter
A picture of former US NSA Contractor Edward Snowden posted on Twitter - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.06.2022
Home Secretary Priti Patel approved Julian Assange's extradition to the US earlier in the day, upholding a court's April ruling. The WikiLeaks founder is facing 175 years in prison in the US for having helped leak documents exposing US war crimes and other misconduct.
Former US National Security Agency contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden has criticised the UK's decision to uphold a court ruling to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the US.
On his Twitter feed, the whistleblower called the decision an "appalling symbol" of the degradation of the UK and US governments' commitments to upholding human rights.
He pointed out that the move to extradite Assange to the US, where faces up to 175 years in prison over his activities as a journalist, was protested by every serious press freedoms group.
Snowden went on to lambast the hypocrisy of the two countries, questioning how they can condemn abuses against the press in authoritarian countries when they persecute investigative journalist at home.
The whistleblower also dismissed those who tried to downplay his statements by appealing to his decision to hide from US persecution in Russia. He argued that it didn't make his statements any less valid, especially considering the fact that Washington admitted to committing the crimes that he exposed.
The former NSA contractor, who himself unveiled a widely-cast net of cyber espionage organised by the US, was not alone in condemning Patel's decision to uphold the court ruling.
Labour MP Richard Burgon also slammed the move as "disgraceful" and a "blow to press freedom". A lawmaker from Assange's homeland Australia, Andrew Wilkie, further described Patel's decision as an "outrageous betrayal of rule of law, media freedom and human rights".
Assange lost his last appeal against the court's decision on extradition in April 2022, but his team says that it will continue appealing to both the US and UK authorities to free him or avert the move. The US' unrelenting attempts to prosecute him over dumping the Afghan and Iraq wars' logs and Department of State cables have sparked condemnation from journalists and human rights organisations across the globe.
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