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Julian Assange: Family and supporters gather at High Court for extradition appeal hearing

Supporters of Julian Assange gathered outside the High Court on Wednesday ahead of a two-day legal challenge by the US against a decision not to grant his extradition.

Signs saying "no extradition" and "truth" were accompanied by loud music and chants.

Assange, 50, is wanted in the US on allegations of a conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information following WikiLeaks' publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked documents relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

Assange is appearing via video-link from Belmarsh Prison, where he has been since 2019. Both the main court and an overflow court were completely full ahead of the hearing.

His partner Stella Moris and father John Shipton were among those arriving at the court.

She told reporters: "I'm very concerned for Julian's health, I saw him on Saturday, he's very thin.

"I hope the courts will end this nightmare, that Julian is able to come home soon and that wise heads prevail.

"We're very concerned that he's not able to be here today to give instruction to his lawyers, to be able to ask for clarifications about what's going on in court.

"Julian should never be extradited."

Supporters were also seen setting up a marquee outside the court.

Among them was Nicholas Rainer, 26, from Barking, east London, who said: "Any time Julian is in court I'm here as well. They keep trying to silence him and that means they're trying to silence us.

"He should be free - there's no reason for this to keep happening. Hopefully the court will do the right thing."

Sadia Kokni, 40, from Merton, south-west London, said: "It's so greatly important to be here, it's not just important for journalists it's important for everyone globally.

"It's because of the atrocities he has exposed, he's a justice and truth seeker who stands up for everyone - we're here to make sure justice happens."