’Obama's decision on Manning very tepid attempt to address issue' – Assange's lawyer to RT
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Julian Assange’s lawyers are "assessing" the situation, following Chelsea Manning’s commutation announcement and Assange’s comments that he’s willing to make a deal with the US should the whistleblower be granted clemency.
"Mr. Assange stands by everything what he has said," Melinda Taylor, Assange's lawyer told RT from the Hague, but added Obama's decision to commute much of the sentence "certainly falls far short of what Miss Manning deserves.”
"Her sentence was commuted, but she wasn't pardoned. She should also never been convicted in the first place," Taylor said.
When asked if Assange is likely to get on a plane to America shortly after Manning is freed in May, his lawyer said her colleagues are now "assessing" the situation.
"The reason why Mr. Assange has been illegally, arbitrarily detained for over five years is because of the risk that he would face prosecution in an unfair trial in the United States. [Obama's] decision is the first step in the right direction, but of course his [Assange's] lawyers need to assess whether it goes far enough in ensuring his fundamental rights."
Referring to a UN ruling that required both London and Stockholm to end the WikiLeaks founder's "arbitrary detention" which has not been implemented, Assange's lawyer said "there is a sense of frustration, that there is no light at the end of the tunnel."
"It remains to be hoped that 2017 will end this stalemate," she added, saying that if "the risk of prosecution and mistreatment in the US can be addressed, if he can be given effective protection against that," then there is hope Assange "could be free."
"His lawyers are trying to clarify his position in the US and to call on President Obama and the new administration to close this unfair prosecution of him," Taylor said.
The lawyer has also called on "organizations and persons" to "assist" Manning after she is released from jail "and ensure that she has employment." She added that the US soldier turned whistleblower's "bravery should have been applauded and it can now be applauded by people's help."