Assange’s Wife, Lawyer Warn He Will Die If Extradited to the US

Assange begins his final chance at appealing the extradition on Tuesday

The wife of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is warning that her husband will die if he is extradited to the US as a hearing for what will likely be his final chance at appeal is set to begin at London’s High Court on Tuesday.

Stella Assange told BBC that the stress from the case has left her husband in “a very difficult place” both mentally and physically. “This case will determine if he lives or dies, essentially,” she said.

Julian Assange’s lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, has also warned he could die if extradited due to his mental condition after being held in London’s Belmarsh Prison for over four years and the seven years he spent under asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy.

“Because of the treatment he has suffered, he suffers a major depressive illness, he has been diagnosed as being on the [autism] spectrum, and the medical evidence is if he was extradited to the United States those conditions would cause him to commit suicide,” Robinson said last month. “So his life is at risk and I am not exaggerating that.”

If extradited to the US, Assange faces up to 175 years in prison for exposing US war crimes by publishing documents provided to him by a source, a standard journalistic practice. The conviction would have grave implications for the First Amendment and press freedom in the US and around the world.

Ahead of the hearing, the Australian government is stepping up the pressure on the US to drop the charges against Assange, who is an Australian citizen. Last week, Australia’s parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution calling for Assange’s freedom, a motion supported by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

“I hope this can be resolved. I hope it can be resolved amicably. It’s not up to Australia to interfere in the legal processes of other countries, but it is appropriate for us to put our very strong view that those countries need to take into account the need for this to be concluded,” Albanese said after the vote.

WikiLeaks and Assange supporters are asking Americans to put pressure on Congress to oppose the extradition. Americans can call their House representatives to support H.Res.934, a bill introduced by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) that calls for the US to drop the charges against Assange.

 Click here to find your representative, or call the House switchboard operator at (202) 224-3121. Tell them to support the resolution to protect the First Amendment and press freedom.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.