Assange’s extradition shows the ‘hypocritical nature’ of the United States: China
Assange’s extradition shows the ‘hypocritical nature’ of the United States: China

Assange’s extradition shows the ‘hypocritical nature’ of the United States: China

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin answered reporters’ questions at a news conference. (File photo of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China)

China has opposed the order to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States, saying Washington presented its true face in terms of its freedom of speech and press rhetoric.

At the instigation of the United States, a British court earlier this week issued a formal order to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States.

Assange’s lawyers had argued against extradition orders, saying the whistleblower could be sentenced to death in the United States on charges of espionage.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said during a news conference on Thursday that the US request revealed the “hypocritical” nature of the US government.

“This is the true face of the United States’ ‘freedom of speech and of the press.’

The things this journalist has been through ever since he exposed US war crimes tell people that “those who expose other countries’ so-called atrocities are heroes, while those who expose US scandals are criminals,” he added.

Nils Melzer, a UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, warned that Assange is not guaranteed a fair trial in the United States, where he is likely to be tortured and eventually sentenced to death.

The Australian-born journalist, who has denied all charges against him, has been in a British prison for over 36 months. Prior to that, he spent seven years imprisoned at the Ecuadorian embassy in London under threat of arrest by British authorities.

Assange says he had merely engaged in investigative journalistic activities legal in the United States and that the allegations that he conspired to hack the Pentagon’s computer systems were false. He and his supporters believe the allegations are politically motivated and “represent an unprecedented attack on press freedom and the public’s right to know – trying to criminalize basic journalistic activity.”

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