With the UK Home Secretary approval of the extradition of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to the US today where he would face a 175 year sentence (which will be appealed), a major threat to Press Freedom worldwide is posed.
The Journalist Support Committee (JSC) expresses its deep concern for the consequences of this decision on the Press Freedom right and journalism worldwide as well as the right to access information from its sources and to publish reliable news from credible sources, which has already begun to reveal its impacts through the restriction on Freedom of expression and speech and the right to Publishing in many countres worldwide and more vividly.
It also retaliates its call for the immediate and unconditioned release of Julian Assange and for the dropping of all charges and legal prosecutions against him, as the trials he is undergoing pave the way for undermining press freedom globally and threatening the security of journalists and researchers in their quest to reveal the truth to local and international communities, especially with the suspicious information previously mentioned in the Yahoo report, which indicated that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) raised the issue of kidnapping or assassinating Assange in 2017, before indicting him, and planning extensive spying on WikiLeaks accomplices, according to the report.
The most dangerous perspective regarding the British judiciary’s decision remains that it sets a legal unprecedent in the history of the British and European judiciary, where it explicitly criminalized the essence of journalism: the right to receive information, contact sources, and protect them, as well as publishing the information obtained, which may pave the way for the possibility of holding journalists accountable under national security considerations in Britain and in other countries as well.
JSC - Switzerland
Friday, June 17th, 2022
BREAKING: UK Home Secretary approves extradition of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to the US where he would face a 175 year sentence - A dark day for Press freedom and for British democracy— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) June 17, 2022
The decision will be appealedhttps://t.co/m1bX8STSr8 pic.twitter.com/5nWlxnWqO7