I am aware that in a hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court, the judge who oversees extradition requests has authorised the case to be sent to the Home Secretary for her final decision. This follows a Supreme Court ruling last month that Mr Assange's case raised no legal questions over assurances the US had given the UK over how he is likely to be treated. The Home Secretary must now decide whether the US' request for Mr Assange meets the remaining legal tests.
As you will be aware, in 2019, the Home Secretary signed an extradition warrant, following a request by the US Department of Justice. In making this decision, the then Home Secretary had limitations on what could be considered, in line with the Crime and Courts Act 2013; judgments on human rights or health issues can only be made in court. As you would expect, the Home Secretary will give due regard to the courts' rulings in Mr Assange's case.
A free and independent media is a crucial foundation of our democracy so I will do everything in my power to support the industry wherever possible. In March 2021, the National Action Plan for the Safety of Journalists was published. This sets out how journalists will be protected from threats of violence and intimidation, as well as the steps broadcasters, publishers, social media companies, law enforcement, industry bodies, unions and the Government will take. New measures include further training for police officers as well as aspiring and existing journalists, and commitments from social media platforms and prosecution services to take tough action against abusers.
Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service is responsible for ensuring those detained in prison have access to the NHS. As with all NHS patients it would not be appropriate for me to comment on the personal health of any individual prisoner.
Finally, EDM 1177 was tabled in a previous Parliament and is now unavailable for signature.