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UK: Assange's Father Denounces 'Oppression of Journalism' and 'Torture' Outside Extradition Hearing

Assange’s father John Shipton condemned the “oppression of journalism”, “arbitrary detention” and “torture” directed against Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange outside Woolwich Crown Court in London on Monday, where he is expected to attend his first extradition hearing.

The “arbitrary detention of Julian as witnessed by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the torture as witnessed by United Nations rapporteur on torture, all of those reports are available,” Shipton said.

He added, “That is what will happen to journalists, publishers and publications if this extradition, this political extradition of Julian Assange is successful.”

The hearing is expected to last for a week, with proceedings scheduled to resume on May 18 for another three weeks.

The WikiLeaks co-founder has remained behind bars in high-security Belmarsh Prison since May 1, 2019, after he was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for breaching his bail conditions to avoid extradition to Sweden on sexual assault allegations. Despite this sentence coming to an end on September 22, a British judge ordered Assange remain in prison while facing extradition to the US, due to his previous history of absconding.

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