“It’s a great disappointment, but also an opportunity, always, to raise a cry of warning about his situation”, reacted Antoine Vey, French lawyer for Julian Assange, this Friday, December 10 on franceinfo. Despite his condition “psychologically very alerting”, according to the lawyer, the High Court in London overturned the refusal to extradite the founder of WikiLeaks, reversing the decision taken at first instance. According to the judges, Washington provided assurances on the treatment of the whistleblower.
franceinfo: The decision of the day is not to decide on the extradition of Julian Assange, but to make it possible again?
Antoine Vey : Today, we got up with the hope that British justice will put an end to the ordeal that Julian Assange has suffered for almost 11 years. Unfortunately, without wanting to get into legal quibbles here, the British appeal judge accepted an American argument which consists in presenting guarantees in the event of Julian Assange being returned to their system. This cannot satisfy us, it being specified that the British judge recognizes all the same that his state of health today does not allow him to face the procedure. We are faced with someone who is suffering and who still finds himself in legal labyrinths of which we will not yet know the end.
In your opinion, is Julian Assange the victim of harassment?
He is being prosecuted for leaking information and when I saw him in London jail he told us to keep fighting by all legal means possible. So it will go on for a long time. But we must not lose sight of the fact that it is essentially a political trial in which he is treated as a terrorist or as an enemy in an armed conflict, which he is absolutely not. He is a man of peace and he is a man who just spread true information.
What is his state of health?
I saw him about four weeks ago and I have never in my life seen such a weak inmate, so eager to be able to make contact. It is even truly cut off from the world, with very few links with the outside world. Admittedly, he has the family ties of his wife, who does a lot for him, but today he is a man who suffers enormously and his psychological state is very alarming. So, we appeal to all leaders, to all possible mobilizations of public opinion, to say that his release is possible. It is possible, independently of the question of extradition. Today, British justice could very well place him under judicial supervision to save his life. It is obviously a great disappointment, but also the occasion, always, to raise a cry of alarm on its situation.