Just thirteen days before World Press Freedom Day 2022 the very existence of world press freedom inched closer to its possible demise. On April 20, a U.K.
The decision represents “a blow to Julian Assange and to justice,” said one human rights campaigner.
Journalist and Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, as the movement calling for his unconditional release and against his extradition to the United States grows louder. Assange was nominated by several individuals, including members of parliament and former peace prize winners, responding to calls from Assange’s partner Stella Moris.
From the outset, extradition proceedings utilising a First World War US statute – the Espionage Act of 1917 – should have sent legal eagles in the UK swooping with alarm. 17 of the 18 charges Assange is accused of have been drawn from it. It criminalises the receipt, dissemination and publication of national security information. It attacks the very foundations of the Fourth Estate’s pursuit of accountability and subverts the protections of the First Amendment in the US constitution. It invalidates motive and purpose. And, were this to be successful – and here, the British justices seem willing to ensure that it is – the United States will be able to globally target any publisher of its dirty trove of classified material using an archaic, barbaric law.