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European politicians protest outside Assange's London jail

AFP  |  London 

German and Spanish lawmakers protested against Julian Assange's detention on Monday, gathering outside a prison to urge Britain and the EU to prevent his to the

Two far-left German MPs, and of Die Linke, and a member of the European Parliament, Ana Miranda, had been due to meet their "friend" Assange in later on Monday.

Instead, following his expulsion and arrest last week, they protested outside the top-security in southeast where he is being held, carrying placards demanding his release.

"We are faced with a humanitarian imperative now that Assange is in UK custody and a US request is out for him, after high ranking officials of the US -- including -- have threatened the publisher with death," said Miranda.

The founder is in custody awaiting sentencing for breaching his British bail conditions in 2012 by seeking refuge in Ecuador's embassy to avoid to

He was arrested at the embassy on Thursday after revoked his asylum, and is now also fighting a US extradition warrant relating to the release by of a huge cache of official documents.

The US indictment charges Assange with "conspiracy" for working with former US Army to crack a password stored on computers in March 2010.

Extradition to the would set "a dangerous precedent" for worldwide, said Miranda, adding: "this threatens to criminalise journalism globally."

Dagdelen urged Britain and the EU to block any extradition request.

"We call on the not to extradite to the USA.

"The must take action to protect a politically-persecuted publisher and journalist," said the German politician, calling on and her home country to grant Assange asylum.

The three women were trying to see Assange in prison, but their application was "still pending".

"I'm a friend of He's a son, a father, a brother and a good friend," said Dagdelen.

"His whole life he sacrificed for the truth." They also accused the of "engaging in a disinformation and slander campaign against Assange" after a series of reports emerged detailing his increasingly disfunctional relationship with embassy staff.

Belmarsh has frequently been used in high-profile national security cases, including that of former Finsbury Park Mosque hate Abu Hamza, who now resides in a US "supermax" prison following extradition.

Radical cleric Anjem Choudary, who was convicted in 2016 of encouraging support for the Islamic State group, spent some of his sentence there.

Belmarsh earned the moniker "the UK's Guantanamo Bay" in the period following the 9/11 attacks after it was used to detain a number of people under anti-terror laws.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 15 2019. 19:05 IST
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