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10 Dec, 2021 11:30

Russia slams British verdict on Assange extradition as ‘shameful’

Russia slams British verdict on Assange extradition as ‘shameful’

The decision of the High Court in London to allow the extradition of the journalist Julian Assange to the US is “shameful,” Moscow said on Friday.

Writing on her Telegram channel, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova blasted the judgement, noting that it happened on International Human Rights Day.

"This shameful verdict in this political case against a journalist and public figure is another manifestation of the cannibalistic worldview of the Anglo-Saxon tandem," she said.

Assange is wanted by the US on espionage charges, and the latest decision opens the door for a future trial in America. Earlier this year, a district court rejected the US extradition request, citing the journalist's vulnerable mental state.

Friday's judgement is, however, not final, and can still be appealed.

Assange has been in prison since 2019, when the Metropolitan Police were invited into the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he had been sheltering since 2012. 

After seven years of living inside the diplomatic mission, he was convicted of failing to surrender to the court, and has been detained at the capital’s maximum security Belmarsh Prison ever since.

The journalist is charged with a number of crimes related to his communications with whistleblowers while running his WikiLeaks website. Most notably, he published classified materials leaked by Chelsea Manning on the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.