News Release

Assange Case: Persecution for Exposing War Crimes

File:Julian Assange August 2014.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

British Home Secretary has approved extradition of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to the U.S. where he would face a 175 year sentence after being in prison for over three years in Britain. A news conference is being held with Assange’s lawyers, wife and press freedom groups.

JOHN SHIPTON, shipton@pm.me
GABRIEL SHIPTON, gab@shiptonhouse.com.au

John Shipton and Gabriel Shipton, who are in the U.S., are Assange’s father and brother. They are from Australia. Gabriel Shipton said in a recent interview: “There is a real opportunity for President Biden and Secretary Blinken to walk the walk [on press freedom and international human rights] by releasing Assange.”

KEVIN GOSZTOLA, kevin@shadowproof.com, @kgosztola
Managing editor of Shadowproof, Gosztola has extensively covered and attended legal proceedings against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

His forthcoming book is Guilty of Journalism: The Political Case Against Julian Assange

The U.S. is trying to extradite Assange for exposing documentation of U.S. government killings. Among the exposes that Assange is being prosecuted for is exposing video of the “Collateral Murder” killings by U.S. soldiers from a helicopter gunship mowing down Reuters staffers in Iraq. Reuters had requested the video and other evidence in 2007, when the attack occurred, but the U.S. government kept it secret until WikiLeaks made it public in 2010.See Gosztola overview article about core issues in the case: “In Charging Assange With 17 Espionage Act Offenses, Prosecutors Claim Power to Decide Who Is and Is Not a Journalist.”

See prior IPA news releases including “Assange: Exposed War Crimes, Imprisoned for 1000 Days; Blair: Committed War Crimes, was Just Knighted.”

Another recent book is The Trial of Julian Assange: A Story of Persecution by Nils Melzer, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The book’s description summarizes much of the case:

“In July 2010, WikiLeaks published the ‘Afghan War Diary,’ one of the biggest leaks in U.S. military history, including evidence for war crimes and torture. Shortly afterwards, Sweden investigated WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for rape and a secret grand jury in the U.S. investigated him for espionage. When both Sweden and Britain refused to guarantee that Assange would not be extradited to the U.S., he sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he stayed for the next seven years.

“When Ecuador finally turned him over to Britain in 2019, the U.S. immediately demanded his extradition and threatened him with 175 years in prison. Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, initially declined to get involved. Only when he visited Assange in prison and researched the facts did he begin to see through the deception and recognize the case for what it really was: the story of a political persecution.”