News Release

Sweden Drops Assange Case, Wikileaks Publisher Faces 175 Years in U.S. on “Espionage”

The New York Times is reporting: “Sweden Drops Julian Assange Rape Inquiry.”

NILS MELZER, Nils.Melzer at glasgow.ac.uk, @NilsMelzer
Melzer is UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. On Monday, the World Socialist Web Site reported: “UN special rapporteur exposes Swedish sexual misconduct frame-up of Assange” based on a Sept. 12 letter from him. Melzer has also spoken out on Assange’s current “oppressive conditions of isolation and surveillance.”

NATHAN FULLER, nathan.fuller at couragefound.org@couragefound
Fuller is with the Courage Foundation, which just released a statement, “Sweden Drops Investigation of Julian Assange.” The group is helping organize an event for the release of the new book In Defense of Julian Assange on Thursday in NYC.

See from The Guardian from 2010: “Julian Assange like a hi-tech terrorist, says Joe Biden.” CBS News from earlier this year: “2020 candidate Pete Buttigieg ‘troubled’ by clemency for Chelsea Manning.”

The Courage Foundation states: “From the outset of this preliminary investigation, Julian Assange’s expressed concern has been that waiting in the wings was a United States request that would be unstoppable from Sweden and result in his spending the rest of his life in a U.S. prison. …

“Mr. Assange arrived in Sweden two weeks after WikiLeaks published the Afghan War Diaries, the first of a series of four groundbreaking WikiLeaks publications attributed to whistleblower Chelsea Manning. …

“It is the first time the U.S. has applied the Espionage Act to a publisher.

“The Trump administration is seeking a 175-year prison sentence for the same journalistic work that has won Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks dozens of journalism prizes. The potential sentence against the publisher under President Trump is forty years longer than the potential sentence against the leaker Chelsea Manning under President Obama.

“The Trump administration’s prosecution of Assange [would] deal a fatal blow to the First Amendment in the United States and set back press freedoms globally.

“The UK Crown Prosecution Service, now acting for the United States in the extradition proceedings against Mr. Assange, artificially prolonged the Swedish ‘preliminary investigation’ by advising Sweden against questioning Mr. Assange in the UK.”