The United Federation of Journalists (IFJ) have launched the "Free Assange Now" campaign on their website calling for the United States to drop all charges, including those involving espionage, against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
On Monday, Wikileaks tweeted out that the "The International Federation of Journalists, representing more than 600,000 journalists worldwide, calls for Julian Assange's immediate release."
Assange has been locked up in a London prison since 2019 and prior to that he was on the run for seven years. He had sought asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy between 2012 through 2019 when the asylum was withdrawn.
The United Federation of Journalists campaign reads, "On June 17, 2022, the United Kingdom approved Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States to face charges, primarily under the nation’s Espionage Act, for releasing US government records that revealed the US military committed war crimes against civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq, including the killing of two Reuters journalists. If found guilty, Assange faces a jail term of up to 175 years."
WikiLeaks was founded in 2006 and in 2010 the site published the leaks regarding the Afghanistan and Iraq wars that were provided by Chelsea Manning, an Army intelligence analyst and biological male who identifies as transgender.
A US grand jury indicted Assange in 2020 on 18 charges, 17 under the Espionage Act, for publishing the leaks.
"The IFJ is gravely concerned about the impact of Assange’s continued detention on media freedom and the rights of all journalists globally. The US pursuit of Assange against the public’s right to know poses a grave threat to the fundamental tenets of democracy, which are becoming increasingly fragile worldwide. Irrespective of personal views on Assange, his extradition will have a chilling effect, with all journalists and media workers at risk," the campaign reads. "The case sets a dangerous precedent that members of the media, in any country, can now be targeted by governments, anywhere in the world, to answer for publishing information in the public interest."
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