British police arrested Julian Assange on April 11, 2019. The Ecuadorian government had previously revoked the asylum status of an investigative activist and journalist. Assange has been forced to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London after having been in captivity there since 2012. He has been held at HMB Belmarsh, a high-security prison in the east of the British capital, for more than two years.
In January, a London judge refused to allow Julian Assange to be released on bail after blocking his extradition to the United States just days earlier. The reason was not the presumption of innocence, but of Assange’s health.
at 18 counts The USA accuses Assange, among other things, of supporting and inciting detective Chelsea Manning for espionage. With WikiLeaks publishing classified military documents, argued Washington, the security of US informants was put at risk.
Among the documents leaked via Manning was a video clip showing the arbitrary Eleven people were killed By US attack helicopters, it became known as “mass killing.” In addition to two children injured, two Reuters journalists were also among the victims who mistakenly believed their video cameras had weapons.
Request for release
If extradited to the United States, Assange could face up to 175 years in prison on all charges. Human rights activists also expect an unfair trial from the US judiciary. The legality of the reprisals to which Assange was subjected nearly a decade ago by a number of actors: from politics and Civil society Doubt.
One could argue about Assange’s actions as a private person, but according to human rights activists such as Wolfgang Kalik, his actions as a journalist are nonetheless covered by freedom of the press. This is why it has been for years He strongly demanded his release. According to Reporters Without Borders, Decision on the fate of Assange It lasted so long – the end is yet to come. The director general of the non-governmental organization Christian Meer confirmed In a press releaseThe decision to keep Assange in prison was disproportionately harsh:
Nobody should see what happened to Assange in the past decade just because they released information of public interest. We again demand his immediate release on humanitarian grounds, but also in recognition that what he revealed was surrounded by freedom of the press.
Because there is no doubt that Assange acted as a journalist in handling and disseminating information. Therefore, the persecution of the founder of WikiLeaks has been criticized as an important example of intimidation of journalists from around the world.