The United Kingdom has approved extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States where he faces espionage charges. UK Home Secretary Priti Patel signed the extradition order yesterday. A London court had issued a formal extradition order in April. Assange’s organization Wikileaks marked the decision as a dark day for the press freedom. The decision will likely see months more of legal wrangling. Assange’s legal counsel Jennifer Robinson said that an appeal would be brought and that the case could ultimately be taken to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Julian Assange is currently in the high-security Belmarsh Prison in London, where he has been held since being dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London three years ago. He is wanted in the United States on 18 criminal charges after WikiLeaks published thousands of classified files and diplomatic cables in 2010. If convicted, Assange faces up to 175 years in prison.