Assange given leave to appeal

A glimmer of hope for Julian Assange: the Wikileaks founder has won the right to appeal the decision to extradite him to the US before the UK's Supreme Court. The High Court in London paved the way for the appeal on Monday after a hearing with Assange's lawyers. European commentators call for Assange to be defended in the name of press freedom.

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Frankfurter Rundschau (DE) /

Asylum in Germany!

If the UK hadn't kowtowed to the US Assange would have been freed long ago, the Frankfurter Rundschau fumes:

“Instead, the undignified wrangling over a person who is already psychologically and physically broken is going into the next round. Now more than ever, the political prisoner needs all the support he can get, including from Germany. When she was part of the opposition Annalena Baerbock had demanded 'the immediate release of Julian Assange on the grounds of serious violations of fundamental freedoms'. In the meantime, as foreign minister, she is responsible - and needs to act. Political asylum for Julian Assange in Germany!”

Le Courrier (CH) /

Defend press freedom

Given that the US judiciary wants to try Assange for espionage, his extradition would send a fatal signal for press freedom, Le Courrier warns:

“If he is extradited - though deported would probably be a more appropriate word - the newspapers that published the information he leaked must fear that they will be next on Uncle Sam's list. In any case, they'll think twice before publishing articles about these explosive revelations. The doggedness with which Assange is being targeted jeopardises the freedom of the press. Defending him means defending the principle that some rights come before others.”