We, the Friends of WikiLeaks (FoWL), are extremely concerned about the journalist Julian Assange. For more than 550 days now he has been fighting extradition from the UK to Sweden, although he has not been charged with any crime in any country and is wanted for questioning only. Once extradited to Sweden, he faces incommunicado detention for an indefinite amount of time. However, it is possible under the Swedish law to be questioned outside the country.
Apart from the many inconsistencies in this case (detailed information can be found on justice4assange.com), our main concern is this: Both the UK and Sweden are refusing to guarantee that Julian Assange will not be further extradited to the USA. It has emerged through the release of internal emails by the US private intelligence service Stratfor that the USA have issued a sealed indictment against Mr. Assange over a year ago. There is also a secret Grand Jury against WikiLeaks going on at the moment, attempting to charge Mr. Assange under the Espionage Act. Once charged under this law, he could face capital punishment.
There is a bilateral agreement between the United States and Sweden which allows Julian Assange to be extradited to the US as soon as he arrives in Sweden. Once he is detained in the USA – a country that has legally allowed the Geneva Convention laws that protect detainees to be suspended for individuals that are deemed enemies of the state – Julian Assange risks kidnapping, torture, and execution.
Both the UK and Sweden refuse to guarantee that they will not extradite Julian Assange to the United States. Political and military extraditions are expressly prohibited under the extradition treaty between Sweden and the United States, so this refusal is unusual. Moreover, it is likely that the US will request extradition on charges that are not overtly political. It is difficult for an individual to prove that the underlying motivations for an extradition are political, especially where the requesting state is a close political ally, which is the case of the United States both for Sweden and for the UK.
As this would present an imminent threat to both his physical integrity and his life, we urge you to guarantee that Julian Assange will not be extradited to the USA from any EU member state!