Julian Assange

U.K. signs U.S. extradition request for Julian Assange

 Julian Assange gestures to the media from a police vehicle on his arrival at Westminster Magistrates court on April 11, 2019 in London, England.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

British Home Secretary Sajid Javid told BBC Radio 4's "Today" program Thursday he's signed a request for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to be extradited to the U.S., where he faces computer hacking charges.

"He’s rightly behind bars because he broke U.K. law. There’s an extradition request from the US that is before the courts tomorrow but yesterday I signed the extradition order and certified it and that will be going in front of the courts tomorrow."
— British Home Secretary Sajid Javid

Justice Department submits official extradition request for Julian Assange

Julian Assange holding up a fist while looking into the camera.

The Justice Department has officially filed an extradition request to the United Kingdom for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Assange, who is currently being detained in the U.K., has been indicted by the Justice Department on 18 counts for conspiring to hack into a government computer and for violating the Espionage Act — charges that have alarmed journalists and activists who fear a crackdown on First Amendment rights.