(New York, NY) — Today PEN America reacted to a United Kingdom High Court decision that granted, on appeal, the United States Department of Justice’s request to extradite Julian Assange to the United States.

“The relentless pursuit of charges against Julian Assange by the Department of Justice continues to pose a significant threat to press freedom globally,” said PEN America Washington director Nadine Farid Johnson. “Today’s decision bringing Assange one step closer to extradition to the U.S. heightens that threat. The media cannot be free to inquire, report, and publish information holding their government to account under the looming threat of charges such as some of those Assange faces looms. Once again, we call on the Justice Department to drop those charges against Assange and to ensure that the Espionage Act is not misapplied to the media.”

PEN America has joined coalition partners in press freedom and human rights calling for the Department of Justice to cease its prosecution of Assange due to the dangerous precedent those charges create for the operation of a free press.