Julian Assange was born in Australia and is the founder of the whistleblowing website Wikileaks It claims to have published more than ten million documents, including many confidential or restricted official reports related to war, spying and corruption. In 2010 Wikileaks published a series of leaks from US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning that included a video from a US military helicopter which showed civilians being killed in the Iraqi capital Baghdad. They also suggested that the US military had killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents during the war in Afghanistan. In 2016 Wikileaks released more than 1200 emails from Hilary Clinton’s private server, over 2000 emails from John Podesta, emails from the Democratic National Committee and information on sensitive CIA hacking tools. After the disclosure of these tools the then director of the CIA Mike Pompeo was plotting to kidnap and murder Assange. (Read or listen to more about this below in The Plot to Kill Julian Assange). The United States has accused him of conspiring to break into its military databases to acquire sensitive information, and was charged with 18 offences including espionage which could result in 175 years in jail.

He has been in the UK high security prison, Belmarsh since 2019 without a charge as he is wanted by the US for disclosing secret military files in 2010 and 2011. He was arrested in 2019 and taken from the Ecuador Embassy where he had been for 7 years after seeking political asylum after a Swedish arrest and extradition warrant for raping one woman and molesting another. He claims the case had no basis. He was arrested and remanded on bail and he then went to the Embassy. This case was dropped in 2019. He was arrested from within the Embassy and taken to Belmarsh where he has spent most of the time since in solitary confinement. In January 2021, a UK judge ruled that he could not be extradited to the U.S. to face trial on charges for violating the Espionage Act as he was a suicide risk, but the High Court ruled that he should be extradited and dismissed the claims of poor mental health and that he might take his own life and in 2022 the Home Secretary confirmed the extradition order. Mr Assange’s lawyers asked the European Court of Human Rights to consider his case in 2022, but the court dismissed it without a hearing.

This week his case for appeal is being heard at the Royal Court of Justice in London where two high court judges heard arguments that he should not be taken from the high-security Belmarsh prison to face a trial and a potential 175-year jail sentence in the US, where he faces 18 criminal counts for his alleged role in obtaining and disclosing classified documents.

A key aspect of the prosecution of Assange that has emerged is the attempt by US authorities to persuade at least 4 well known journalists who have been critical of Assange to give evidence against him. All of them have declined to cooperate with the FBI.

“O’Hagan said that although he had his differences with Assange, he would happily go to jail rather than assist the FBI. “I would only add that the attempt to punish Assange for exposing the truth is an attack on journalism itself. I notice that none of those mainstream collaborators who published his material – the New York Times, the Guardian, and Der Spiegel – are being pursued, which demonstrates that a generational bias against internet-based journalism is at the heart of the case … If Julian goes to the US, Britain will have failed to protect one of the first principles of democracy.” The Guardian

This case is high profile not just because of the extradition but that it is also in effect putting the freedom of the press on trial for unveiling the truth. His wife Stella Assange states: “It’s an attack on all journalists. It’s an attack on the truth, and it’s an attack on the public’s right to know.  

As of Saturday 24th February 2024 we are still awaiting a verdict.

More information available at https://freeassange.org/

Julian Assange risks ‘flagrant denial of justice’ if tried in US, London court told

Julian Assange faces the risk of a “flagrant denial of justice” if tried in the US, his lawyers have told a permission to appeal hearing in London, which could result in the WikiLeaks founder being extradited within days if unsuccessful.  Read more…

The CIA Plot To Kill My Husband, Julian Assange

Watch here

The Plot to Kill Julian Assange: Report Reveals CIA’s Plan to Kidnap, Assassinate WikiLeaks Founder

Did the CIA under the Trump administration plan to kidnap and assassinate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during a shootout in London? That is one of the explosive findings in a new exposé by Yahoo News that details how the CIA considered abducting and possibly murdering Assange while he took refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to avoid being extradited to Sweden for rape allegations, charges that were dropped in 2017. More than 30 former officials say former CIA Director Mike Pompeo was apparently motivated to get even with WikiLeaks following its publication of sensitive CIA hacking tools, which the agency considered “the largest data loss in CIA history.”  Listen/read more…

Julian Assange supporters gather en masse to protest.

Thousands of individuals convene in Barcelona outside the British consulate, expressing their unwavering support for Julian Assange

Stella Assange: “What’s at stake is the ability to publish the truth and expose crimes when they’re committed by states.”

As they lecture us endlessly about human rights in other countries, the Biden administration is trying to kill journalist Julian Assange for the crime of embarrassing the CIA. His wife Stella joins us from his extradition hearing.  Watch here…

Australian PM Anthony Albanese supports vote calling on UK and US to free Julian Assange

Australia’s parliament has recently passed a resolution urging the US and UK governments to allow Julian Assange to return to Australia.  Read more…

“That’s what a journalists job is, to hold those in power, elected politicians and eveyone else to account, we have got to protect journalists”  Watch here…

This is a compilation of comments from people in the crowd outside the court. People have traveled to London in support of Julian Assange from all around the world. Watch here…

What a Julian Assange conviction could mean for the future of press freedom

Mary Louise Kelly talks with the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University’s Jameel Jaffer about arguments that prosecuting Julian Assange would threaten press freedom.

“Inside a London courtroom this week, lawyers have been arguing the case of WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange, who is fighting his extradition to the United States. Outside that London courtroom, protesters have gathered – with them, Assange’s wife, Stella Assange, who says her husband’s prosecution would threaten freedom of the press everywhere.”  Listen/read more…