According to his lawyers, who completed a release of the case against his extradition to the media, caution that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange faces a real risk of “rendition” by the United States if turned over to Swedish custody and that afterwards he might well wind up in Guantanamo Bay, or executed.
“It is well known that prominent figures have implied, if not stated outright, that Mr. Assange should be executed,” the report noted. Assange has not been charged with any crimes in the US (or in Sweden, for that matter), but officials, including Vice President Joe Biden, have called him a “terrorist.”
The document details Sweden’s history of renditioning suspects under the guise of the War on Terror, even when they knew perfectly well those suspects were liable to be tortured. It is believed that Sweden would be keen on the notion of shipping Assange to the United States should they obtain him.
The argument becomes relevant to the extradition of Assange from Britain, as the Extradition Act bars the transfer of a detainee when he could face violation of his human rights. Given the number of US officials who are putting Assange on the same footing as Osama bin Laden, such a risk appears to be extremely real.
Assange faces a new extradition hearing in February, following a procedural hearing today. Assange reported in the wake of today’s hearing that the group will “speed up” its release of documents, which won’t be hard to do given that the whistleblower hasn’t released a single document on its website in nearly a week.