Hollywood actor asks Britain not to extradite Julian Assange
Oscar-nominated American actor John Malkovich has called on the UK government to “revisit” its decision to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States. In a self-recorded video address, published by WikiLeaks on Friday, Malkovich revealed that he doesn’t expect a fair hearing of Assange’s case in the US, where the journalist faces up to 175 years in prison over publication of classified materials.
NEW: John Malkovich on Julian Assange: "I don't believe he will get a fair trial (in the US)...I would urge the UK government to revisit that decision (to extradite) #FreeAssangeNOWpic.twitter.com/ECXSTWq2xn— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 21, 2022
“In the case of Julian Assange I very much hope the UK government might rethink their position about extraditing him to America because I don’t in any way believe that he can have a fair trial there,” Malkovic said.
He emphasized that if Western governments “were more honest and more forthcoming about their actions and their activities,” journalists like Assange would probably not be needed. However, in the actor’s opinion, this is not the case and governments are not honest “about many, many things.”
“And for me it’s quite critical to know what is done in my name and that’s why I would urge the UK government to revisit that decision,” the star of ‘Being John Malkovich’ said.
By voicing his support for Assange, Malkovich has joined several other celebrities, including Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters, actress Pamela Anderson and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood.
Assange has been a target for the US since 2010, when WikiLeaks released a trove of classified documents that depicted alleged war crimes committed by US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has since been accused of conspiring to hack Pentagon computers and is charged under America’s Espionage Act.
A British court initially refused to surrender Assange to the US, citing fears that he would be subjected to inhumane treatment. Later, however, Washington managed to convince the British judges that the journalist’s rights would be respected. In June, then-Home Secretary Priti Patel approved Assange’s extradition. He has appealed the decision.