Julian Assange, Erling Borgen | Erling Borgen on the Assange case: – International disgrace

Julian Assange, Erling Borgen |  Erling Borgen on the Assange case: – International disgrace

Longtime NRK journalist Erling Borgen is currently in the UK, where the High Court in London is dealing with the question of whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be extradited to US authorities, where he is charged with 18 counts of espionage.

Assange and his supporters believe he has done nothing wrong, and that his extradition would be a serious attack on freedom of expression and freedom of the press. So does Borgen, who is a member of Assange's committee for the freedom of expression organization Norsk Ben.

– It's a shame. “An international disgrace, and the Norwegian authorities did nothing to get Assange out of prison,” Borgen tells Netafsen by phone from London.

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– He will equate journalistic disclosure with espionage

Borgen says Assange risks 175 years in prison. According to the BBC, the American authorities believe that a prison sentence of between four and six years is most likely, which the veteran journalist does not believe very much.

– In this case, I trust Assange's lawyers much more than what the Americans say in the context of propaganda, he says.

Borgen does not believe the court will allow Assange to appeal, and says Assange's lawyers then said they would appeal the case to the European Court of Human Rights. The question then is whether Assange will be sent to the United States, or whether he will be allowed to remain in England until the case is concluded.

Compared to Navalny

When Netavisen spoke to Borgen on Wednesday morning, there was only about an hour before demonstrators gathered in the English capital to celebrate their support for Assange.

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Erling Borgen describes his presence in London as “very strong” and says he has spoken to Assange's lawyers and Assange's wife, Stella.

– His health is very bad, and therefore he is not in court, and he does not want to watch the trial on video.

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Assange is too ill to appear in court

Borgen also compares Assange's treatment to that of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was recently found dead after spending time in a Russian prison.

– Like all thinking and fair people, I strongly distance myself from what happened to Navalny. He says: I think what is happening with Julian Assange is the same story.

Borgen once again reiterates his criticism of the Norwegian authorities' handling of the case, and also says:

– I fear what will happen if Assange is not released from prison immediately.

– Don't you trust that Assange will get a fair trial if he is extradited to the United States?

-The espionage trial is basically secret, and you have no idea what is going on. I think the reason people campaigned so strongly against Assange, a journalist and media activist, is because he ensured that newspapers around the world were able to expose how the US and UK committed massive war crimes in Iran and Iran. Afghanistan.

“They do this to scare journalists from revealing similar information in the future,” Borgen says.

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Nominated for the Peace Prize

Lawyer: Too ill to ask

Julian Assange himself does not appear before the court when the question of his extradition to the United States is taken up.

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His lawyer previously said the 52-year-old was too ill to meet him.

Assange has been in a high-security prison in London since he was expelled from the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2019. His wife, Stella, warned last week that his “mental and physical health is deteriorating.”

Chairman Ann Margit Austenå of Norsk PEN said this week about this:

If Julian Assange is extradited to the United States, it would equate journalistic exposé with espionage, a dangerous assault on freedom of expression and freedom of the press around the world. It would also set a dangerous precedent for others exposing war crimes and abuse of power. The case of Julian Assange concerns us all.

Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

"Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer."

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