Assange’s jail term ‘excessive, extreme, unjustified’ – analysts
The 50-week prison sentence handed down to WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange by a British court is both “excessive and disproportionate,” but “small beer” to what the Americans have in store for him, analysts told RT.
Human rights activist Peter Tatchell says the 47-year-old journalist should face some form of punishment for skipping bail, as it’s a criminal offence, but that a near maximum sentence of “50 weeks is excessive and disproportionate.”
Tatchell claimed that Assange’s case does not meet the necessary ‘maximum sentence’ criteria and the lengthy jail term is “unjustified.”
“According to law and sentencing guidelines, a maximum sentence should only be applied if a person poses a risk to the public or has a history of previous serious convictions – he does not fall into either of those categories.”
On reports that the Swedish authorities could revive allegations of sexual assault against Assange, Tatchell believes the journalist should face the justice system, but that the “point is he’s been willing to do so.”
Independent journalist Luс Rivet believes the prison sentence is “severe” for the crime Assange committed, but in comparison to what Washington is after him for, it’s “small beer.”
Rivet thinks London will be wary of extraditing him to the US because “there will be an outcry in the world.” This is in part due to the fact that Assange is seen by many people, including the press, as a hero for revealing “things that the Americans wanted to keep hidden,” Rivet told RT.
WikiLeaks slammed the sentence, calling it “as shocking as it is vindictive.” In a tweet shortly after sentencing, they raised concerns about whether Assange will be treated fairly during the extradition hearing on Thursday.
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