MPs urge government to extradite Assange to Sweden

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Around 70 MPs have signed a letter urging the government to make sure that Julian Assange faces Swedish authorities, if the country requests his extradition.

Labour MP Stella Creasy shared the letter on Twitter, which has been sent to Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

The letter says: “We are writing to request that you do everything you can to champion action that will ensure Julian Assange can be extradited to Sweden in the event Sweden make an extradition request.

“This would be so the formal investigation into an allegation of rape can be concluded and, if appropriate, a charge can be made and any trial can take place.

‘UK resist!’: Assange shouts during arrest

“We do not presume guilt, of course, but we believe due process should be followed and the complainant should see justice be done.

“We urge you to stand with the victims of sexual violence and seek to ensure the case against Mr Assange can now be properly investigated.”

Assange, who was arrested on Thursday, is facing allegations of rape in Sweden, but the allegation will expire next August.

More from Julian Assange

Despite members of his own party calling for the WikiLeaks founder’s extradition, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has called on the government to block the move, saying: “The extradition of Julian Assange to the US for exposing evidence of atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan should be opposed by the British government.”

Diane Abbott, Labour spokeswoman for domestic affairs, said the extradition should be blocked on human rights grounds.

She told the BBC that the case against Assange was about the “embarrassment of the things he’s revealed about the American military and security services”.

Ms Abbott added that he was a “whistleblower, and much of the information that he brought into the public domain, it could be argued, was very much in the public interest”.

Fugitive or hero?

Fugitive or hero?

Timeline of Julian Assange’s nine-year long justice battle

The Australian national spent nearly seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he asked for political asylum in 2012, after failing in his legal battle against his initial extradition to Sweden.

In May 2017, Swedish prosecutors dropped the inquiry into the rape claim against Assange – a claim he has always denied.

His arrest on Thursday has since prompted the lawyer for the woman who accused him of rape to ask for the case to be reopened.

Swedish prosecutors have confirmed that they are looking into the case, but have not reopened it.

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