Prosecution of Assange Is an Attack on Our Own Humanity, by Nozomi Hayese

Monday, one of the bravest men in history will have his fate decided by a pack of braying jackals. From Nozomi Hayese at

On January 4, 2021 the London Court will release the hearing verdict of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange’s US extradition case. The indictment against Assange is politically motivated. Judge Vanessa Baraitser, who is presiding over hearings, has even acknowledged the political nature of this case when she decided not to rule until at least after the US Presidential election on November 3, 2020.

The verdict will not only determine the life of Assange, but also the future of journalism. The extra-territorial overreach involved in the US government charging a journalist who exposed their war crimes under the Espionage Act threatens press freedom everywhere. This is why all major media and human rights organizations have now stepped forward to oppose the extradition proceedings against Assange.

Their message is clear. Publishing documents that are verified to be authentic and are of public interest is not a crime. It is a central role of the press in a functioning democracy to defend the public’s right to know, and to help keep the government honest. WikiLeaks has done exemplary work in fulfilling this duty. This is journalism, and journalism is not a crime.

The attempted prosecution of Assange is already creating chilling effects on journalists, with a dangerous precedent having been set. One Turkish journalist has now been sentenced to more than 27 years in prison for allegedly supporting terrorism and engaging in political espionage. As we now face a critical moment for our democracy, it is important for us to think about what this war on journalism means and what WikiLeaks represents to all of us.

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