Julian Assange

Julian Assange
Assange in 2014
Julian Paul Hawkins

(1971-07-03) 3 July 1971 (age 51)
  • Australia
  • Ecuador (2017–2021)
  • Editor
  • publisher
  • activist
Years active1987–present
Known forFounding WikiLeaks
TitleDirector[1] and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks (until September 2018); publisher (since September 2018)[2]
Political partyWikiLeaks (2012–2015)
  • Teresa
    (m. 1989; div. 1999)
  • Stella Moris
    (m. 2022)
AwardsFull list
Julian Assange Autograph.svg

Julian Paul Assange (/əˈsɑːnʒ/ ə-SAHNZH;[3] Hawkins; born 3 July 1971) is an Australian editor, publisher, and activist who founded WikiLeaks in 2006. WikiLeaks came to international attention in 2010 when it published a series of leaks provided by U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.[a] These leaks included the Baghdad airstrike Collateral Murder video (April 2010),[4][5] the Afghanistan war logs (July 2010), the Iraq war logs (October 2010), and Cablegate (November 2010). After the 2010 leaks, the United States government launched a criminal investigation into WikiLeaks.[6]

In November 2010, Sweden issued a European arrest warrant for Assange over allegations of sexual misconduct.[7] 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.[8][9]

After losing his battle against extradition to Sweden, he breached bail and took refuge in the Embassy of Ecuador in London in June 2012.[10] He was granted asylum by Ecuador in August 2012[11] on the grounds of political persecution, with the presumption that if he were extradited to Sweden, he would be eventually extradited to the United States.[12] Swedish prosecutors dropped their investigation in 2019, saying their evidence had "weakened considerably due to the long period of time that has elapsed since the events in question".[13]

During the 2016 U.S. election campaign, WikiLeaks published confidential Democratic Party emails, showing that the party's national committee favoured Hillary Clinton over her rival Bernie Sanders in the primaries.[14][15] In March 2017, WikiLeaks published a series of documents which detailed the CIA's electronic surveillance and cyber warfare capabilities,[16] after which senior CIA officials discussed potentially kidnapping or assassinating Assange.[17]

On 11 April 2019, Assange's asylum was withdrawn following a series of disputes with the Ecuadorian authorities.[18] The police were invited into the embassy and he was arrested.[19] He was found guilty of breaching the Bail Act and sentenced to 50 weeks in prison.[20] The United States government unsealed an indictment against Assange related to the leaks provided by Manning. On 23 May 2019, the United States government further charged Assange with violating the Espionage Act of 1917. Editors from newspapers, including The Washington Post and The New York Times, as well as press freedom organisations, criticised the government's decision to charge Assange under the Espionage Act, characterising it as an attack on the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guarantees freedom of the press.[21][22]

On 4 January 2021, UK District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled against the United States' request to extradite Assange and stated that doing so would be "oppressive" given concerns over Assange's mental health and risk of suicide.[23] On 6 January 2021, Assange was denied bail, pending an appeal by the United States.[24] On 10 December 2021, the High Court in London ruled that Assange could be extradited to the US to face the charges.[25] In March 2022, the UK Supreme Court refused Assange permission to appeal.[26] On 17 June 2022, Home Secretary Priti Patel approved the extradition.[27] On 1 July 2022, it was announced that Assange had formally appealed against the extradition order.[28]

Assange has been confined in Belmarsh, a category A prison, in London since April 2019.[29]

  1. ^ McGreal, Chris (5 April 2010). "Wikileaks reveals video showing US air crew shooting down Iraqi civilians". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 26 June 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2010.
  2. ^ "WikiLeaks names one-time spokesman as editor-in-chief". Associated Press. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  3. ^ "The Julian Assange Show: Cypherpunks Uncut (p.1)" on YouTube
  4. ^ Collateral Murder on YouTube, 5 April 2000. Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  5. ^ "Q&A: Julian Assange and the law". BBC News. 13 March 2015. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  6. ^ Yost, Pete (29 November 2010). "Holder says WikiLeaks under criminal investigation". Boston Globe. Associated Press. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Wikileaks' Assange faces international arrest warrant". BBC News. 20 November 2010.
  8. ^ "Julian Assange should be extradited to Sweden: British MPs". Deutsche Welle. 13 April 2019. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  9. ^ "What is Julian Assange accused of and why is the WikiLeaks founder being extradited?". The Telegraph (UK). 25 February 2020. Archived from the original on 10 January 2022. Retrieved 28 September 2020.
  10. ^ Bowater, Donna (20 June 2012). "Julian Assange faces re-arrest over breaching his bail condition by seeking asylum in Ecuador". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 10 January 2022.
  11. ^ Neuman, William; Ayala, Maggy (16 August 2012). "Ecuador Grants Asylum to Assange, Defying Britain". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 27 June 2021.
  12. ^ Wallace, Arturo (16 August 2012). "Julian Assange: Why Ecuador is offering asylum". BBC. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Julian Assange: Sweden drops rape investigation". BBC. 19 November 2019. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  14. ^ "Leaked DNC emails reveal details of anti-Sanders sentiment". The Guardian. Associated Press. 23 July 2016. Retrieved 11 January 2022.
  15. ^ Savage, Charlie (26 July 2016). "Assange, Avowed Foe of Clinton, Timed Email Release for Democratic Convention". The New York Times. After the Democratic chairwoman, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, resigned Monday when Sanders supporters reacted angrily to revelations in the emails that party officials had privately rooted for Mrs. Clinton to win the presidential nomination, Mr. Assange told the news program 'Democracy Now!' that he had timed their release to coincide with the Democratic convention.
  16. ^ Cite error: The named reference nyt070317 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  17. ^ Cite error: The named reference WhiteTimes21 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  18. ^ Ma, Alexandra (14 April 2019). "Assange's arrest was designed to make sure he didn't press a mysterious panic button he said would bring dire consequences for Ecuador". Business Insider. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  19. ^ "Police arrest Julian Assange at Ecuadorian Embassy in London". CNN. 11 April 2019. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  20. ^ "Julian Assange jailed over bail breach". BBC News. 1 May 2019.
  21. ^ "The U.S. says Julian Assange 'is no journalist.' Here's why that shouldn't matter". The Washington Post. 25 May 2019.
  22. ^ "Washington Post, New York Times editors blast Assange indictment". The Hill. 24 May 2019.
  23. ^ Rebaza, Claudia; Fox, Kara (4 January 2021). "UK judge denies US request to extradite Julian Assange". CNN. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  24. ^ "UK judge denies bail for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange". CNN. 6 January 2021. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  25. ^ "Julian Assange can be extradited to the US, court rules". BBC News. 10 December 2021.
  26. ^ "Julian Assange denied permission to appeal against extradition". BBC News. 14 March 2022. Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  27. ^ Grierson, Jamie; Quinn, Ben (17 June 2022). "Julian Assange's extradition from UK to US approved by home secretary". The Guardian.
  28. ^ "Julian Assange submits High Court appeal to fight extradition". BBC News. July 2022.
  29. ^ Kirk, Tristan (28 June 2021). "Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is planning to get married inside top-security Belmarsh prison". Evening Standard. Retrieved 31 August 2021.

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