On Monday, 15th November at 19h30, join us at the DISSIDENT club as we host Stella Moris, lawyer and partner of Julian Assange, Joseph Farrell from Wikileaks, and Rebecca Vincent, Director International Campaigns, and London Bureau Chief for Reporters without Borders (RSF) to discuss the “Free Julian Assange” campaign and how we can raise our voice for Assange.
Australian cyber activist and media publisher Julian Assange launched WikiLeaks in 2006. The non-profit was set up with the aim of exposing state secrets its founder argued should be in the public domain. In 2010, U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning provided WikiLeaks with hundreds of thousands of highly classified internal documents.
The publications included revelation of what appeared to be war crimes. Footage released in April 2010 showed U.S. soldiers shooting and killing civilians from a helicopter in Iraq. It also included sensitive information about human intelligence sources and surveillance techniques.
In November 2010, Sweden issued an international arrest warrant for Assange over allegations of sexual misconduct. Assange said the allegations were a pretext for his extradition from Sweden to the United States over his role in the publication of secret American documents. After losing his battle against extradition to Sweden, he breached bail and took refuge in the Embassy of Ecuador in London in June 2012. He was granted asylum by Ecuador in August 2012 on the grounds of political persecution. On 11 April 2019, Assange’s asylum was withdrawn following a series of disputes with the Ecuadorian authorities. The police were invited into the embassy and he was arrested and a decision on his extradition to the US was to be deliberated by the courts.
On 4 January 2021, A district judge in the UK ruled against the United States’ request to extradite him and stated that doing so would be “oppressive” given his mental health. But on 6 January 2021, Assange was denied bail, pending an appeal by the United States. Assange remains confined in Belmarsh maximum-security prison in London since April 2019.