Assange now `closer to US extradition`: Mother

Assange`s mother said that his extradition to Sweden makes it more likely he will be sent to US and even tortured.

Sydney: A London High Court decision
upholding Julian Assange`s extradition to Sweden makes it more
likely he will be sent to the United States and even tortured,
his mother was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

Christine Assange called on Australians to put pressure
on the government to secure guarantees that her son would not
be extradited to the United States, fearing for his safety,
the Australian Associated Press reported.

"Now Julian`s even closer to a US extradition or
rendition," Assange told AAP. "It`s now up to the (Australian)
people to use their democracy or lose it.

"If they don`t stand up for Julian, he will go to the US
and he will be tortured. And he is the person who stood up for
the world to expose the truth."

Julian Assange earlier lost his bitter legal battle to
block his extradition to Sweden to face questioning over
allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Two judges at the High Court in London rejected arguments
by the 40-year-old Australian, whose anti-secrecy website has
enraged governments around the world, that his extradition
would be unlawful.

Assange said he would consult his lawyers about whether
to make a further appeal to England`s Supreme Court, but doing
so would be difficult as judges must first decide that the
case is of special public interest.

Assange has strongly denied the allegations, claiming
they are politically motivated and linked to the activities of
WikiLeaks. He has been under virtual house arrest since he was
first detained in December.

His mother called for Australian Prime Minister Julia
Gillard to do more for Assange, who she said had done nothing
more than speak the truth.
"Julia Gillard should be standing up to the US and saying
`not this time. You`re not going to take one of our countrymen
and torture them just because they told the truth`," she told
"He`s been crucified for doing what he was brought up to
do," she added.

"I brought my son up to tell the truth, to believe in
justice. He was brought up to believe he lived in a democracy
and to right any wrongs that he saw... Now I believe that`s
not true."

She said she further feared that her son, if extradited
to Sweden, could be held indefinitely without charge and
without access to visitors, including lawyers, and that any
trial could be conducted behind closed doors.

"People think that because Sweden is a Western country
that they have a legal system the same as ours, that`s
completely untrue," she told AAP.

Bureau Report

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