Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks and an IFJ press card holder, has been held since April 2019 in a maximum security prison in the United Kingdom. He was charged under the Espionage Act in the United States for disclosing classified documents in his work with WikiLeaks (notably documents on the US crimes during the war in Iraq and Afghanistan), he faces 175 years in prison.
On 4 January 2021, the court ruled against the United States’ request to extradite Julian Assange, arguing that his mental health was at risk. But the US has appealed against the decision, an appeal. If granted, Assange will be extradited to the United States where he could face trial on 18 charges and where his life would be in serious danger.
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “President Joe Biden must end the years of politically motivated prosecution of Julian Assange by finally dropping the charges against him. The criminalisation of whistleblowers and investigative journalists has no place in a democracy. Condemning Assange would not only endanger his life but also fundamental principles of press freedom.”