U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie has invited Gabriel Shipton, the brother of imprisoned Julian Assange, as his guest for this week’s U.S. State of the Union address.

“I am honored to be Rep. Massie’s guest at the State of the Union address,” Shipton said in a statement released by Massie’s office. “The prosecution of Julian Assange is a direct attack on the 1st amendment and the freedom of the press to publish information in the public interest.

“Rep. Massie is a fierce defender of these rights having introduced legislation that would protect my brother Julian and put an end to the espionage act being weaponised against publishers. I hope President Biden can take a new look at the indictment and see it for the threat to democracy that it is.”

Amnesty International in a petition it organizes says that “USA must drop charges against Julian Assange. He fully deserves to be released; he already paid a heavy price for what he did”.

The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Alice Jill Edwards, urged the Government of the United Kingdom (UK) to halt the possible extradition of Julian Assange to the United States of America.

In her press release dated 6 February 2024, the expert called on British authorities to consider Julian Assange’s appeal based on substantial fears that, if extradited, he would be at risk of treatment amounting to torture or other forms of ill-treatment or punishment.

“Julian Assange suffers from a long standing and recurrent depressive disorder. He is assessed as being at risk of committing suicide. In the United States, he faces numerous charges, including under the Espionage Act of 1917 for alleged unlawful releases of diplomatic and other cables and documents via WikiLeaks. If extradited, he could be detained in prolonged isolation while awaiting trial, or as an inmate. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 175 years in prison,” Edwards said.