WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gestures from a prison van while being driven out of Southwark Crown Court in London on May 1
WikiLeaks has urged the Home Secretary to block the extradition of Julian Assange to the US after new charges had given him the prospect of dying in prison.
The organization said Sajid Javid & # 39; was under enormous pressure to protect the rights of the free press in the UK and elsewhere & # 39; after the founder was hit by a series of new indictments with combined sentences of more than 100 years.
But this morning, the Ministry of the Interior refused to comment on its extradition.
The 47-year-old, currently imprisoned in Britain, faces 18 counts from the US Department of Justice related to his & # 39; alleged role in one of the biggest compromises of secret information in the history of the United States & # 39 ;.
An indictment of the grand jury was opened yesterday to reveal allegations against Assange, who is accused of working with the former US intelligence service Chelsea Manning, who illegally collected and disclosed hundreds of thousands of classified documents.
The Ministry of Justice said that Assange has published a serious and imminent risk by publishing non-updated versions of the leaked files & # 39; human resources. called.
The department claims that the couple had conspired with reason to believe that the information was to be used for the injury of the United States or the benefit of a foreign nation & # 39 ;.
WikiLeaks called it & # 39; the end of national security journalism and the first amendment & # 39;
Actress Pamela Anderson, who made an unlikely friendship with Assange, called the Australian an & # 39; incredible person & # 39; who said & # 39; more people should be proud of him & # 39 ;.
She went on: & # 39; Because he waved some important feathers, I think, powerful feathers, so they're not so happy with him right now.
& # 39; So now he's cut off from the rest of the world and we have to stand up for him & # 39 ;.
According to WikiLeaks, the charges, of which 17 fall under the espionage law of the First World War, have 175 years in prison if they are convicted.
It is the first time in history that someone who operates in a journalistic capacity has been charged under the Espionage Act and is concerned about the limitations and safeguards of the first amendment to publish confidential information.
WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson called the new charges & # 39; the evil of lawlessness in its purest form & # 39; while the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said the move & # 39; an extraordinary escalation of the Trump attacks on journalism & # 39; used to be.
John Pilger, the Bafta-winning documentary maker, warned that modern fascism attracts attention & # 39 ;, tweeting: & # 39; Tomorrow it's you in the New York Times, you on the BBC. & # 39;
Assange was dragged dramatically from the Ecuadorian embassy in Knightsbridge, central London, last month, about seven years after he sought political asylum after the documents were published.
WikiLeaks said Home Secretary Sajid Javid (on Downing Street in London on Tuesday) was under enormous pressure to protect the rights of the free press in the UK and elsewhere & # 39;
He was subsequently imprisoned for 50 weeks for a bail and fought against extradition to the US.
After his arrest, Mr. Javid told the Commons that it would be up to the court to determine whether there was a legal reason for Mr. Assange to prevent extradition.
The Minister of the Interior added: "It is correct that we conduct the judicial process fairly and consistently, with respect for equality before the law."
In a statement on Friday, WikiLeaks said: & # 39; The final decision on Assange & # 39; s extradition rests with the British Home Secretary, who is now under enormous pressure to protect the rights of the free press in the UK and elsewhere to protect.
& # 39; Press lawyers have unanimously argued that the prosecution of Assange under the Espionage Act is incompatible with democratic principles.
& # 39; This is the toughest attack on press freedom of the century. & # 39;
American actress Pamela Anderson (pictured after a visit to Assange in the Belmarsh Prison on May 7), who made an unlikely friendship with Assange, said & # 39; more people should be proud of him & # 39 ;.
WikiLeaks said the charges relate to & # 39; revelations of war crimes and human rights violations by the US government & # 39; published online in 2010 and 2011.
The organization warned the indictment and demonstrated & # 39; extraterritorial application of US law & # 39; and ignored Assange's rights as a journalist under the First Amendment of the American Constitution.
Mr. Hrafnsson said: & # 39; This is the evil of lawlessness in its purest form. With the charge, the & # 39; leader of the free world rejects & # 39; the First Amendment – praised as a model of press freedom around the world – and launches a blatant extraterritorial attack beyond its borders, attacking the basic principles of democracy in Europe and the rest of the world. & # 39;
Only one accusation of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion had previously been revealed against Assange.
His lawyer, Barry J Pollack, said the first attack was a & # 39; fig leaf & # 39; Has been.
Place supporters outside the Ecuadorian embassy in the Knightsbridge in London on 29 May
& # 39; These unprecedented charges show the seriousness of the threat that Julian Assange's criminal prosecution poses to all journalists in their efforts to inform the public about actions taken by the US government. & # 39;
The ACLU said the new charges are a dangerous precedent that can be used to target all news organizations that hold the government responsible for publishing its secrets.
A federal grand jury returned the charges against him to Virginia on Thursday afternoon. Now the 47-year-old WikiLeaks founder stands 170 years behind bars.
US authorities claim that the whistleblower is whipping up with Chelsea Manning, 31, & # 39; with reason to believe that the information was to be used for wounding the United States or the benefit of a foreign nation & # 39 ;.
Assange published the WikiLeaks documents with indiscriminate names of sources that provided information to US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
& # 39; These human resources include local Afghans and Iraqis, journalists, religious leaders, human rights defenders and political dissidents from repressive regimes, & # 39; said the Ministry of Justice.
Pilger tweeted: & The war against Julian Assange is now a war against everyone. Eighteen absurd accusations, including espionage, send a burning message to every journalist, every publisher. Today's goal is Assange. Tomorrow it's you in the New York Times, you on the BBC. Modern fascism is breaking. & # 39;
According to the US Department of Justice, Manning handed over databases with around 90,000 Afghanistan-related important war reports and 400,000 Iraq-related war-related activity reports, the Department of Justice said.
There were also 800 evaluation sessions for prisoners from Guantanamo Bay and 250,000 cabinets from the US Department of Foreign Affairs, it added.
Julian Assange & # 39; s struggle for freedom: a timeline of the decade of the founder of WikiLeaks in the spotlight
Assange makes Wikileaks with a group of like-minded activists and IT experts to help whistleblowers leak information securely. He quickly becomes his figurehead and a lightning rod for criticism.
March: The US authorities claim that Assange has committed a conspiracy to hack a classified US government computer with the former Army intelligence analyst, Chelsea Manning.
July: Wikileaks introduces tens of thousands of documents with top secrets, including a video of American helicopter pilots who shot 12 civilians in Baghdad in 2007. What followed was the release of more than 90,000 classified US military files from the Afghan war and 400,000 from Iraq including the names of informants.
August: Two Swedish women claim that they each had consensual sex with Assange in separate cases when he was on a 10-day trip to Stockholm. They claim that the gender became non-consensual when Assange refused to wear a condom.
The first woman claims that Assange was staying in her apartment in Stockholm when he took off her clothes. She told the police that when she realized that Assange was trying to have unprotected sex with her, she demanded that he use a condom. She claims that he tore the condom before he had sex.
The second Swedish woman claims that she had sex with Assange in her apartment in Stockholm and she let him wear a condom. She claims she later woke up to find Assange who had unprotected sex with her.
He was interrogated by the police in Stockholm and denied the charges. Assange has received permission from the Swedish authorities to fly back to the UK.
November: A Swedish court ruled that the investigation should be reopened and that Assange should be detained for questioning on suspicion of rape, sexual assault and illegal coercion. An international arrest warrant is issued by the Swedish police via Interpol.
Wikileaks publishes its cache of more than 250,000 American diplomatic cables.
December: Assange presents himself to the London police and appears during an extradition session where he is taken into pre-trial detention. Assange receives conditional bail at the High Court in London after his supporters pay £ 240,000 in cash and bail.
February: A British judge decides that Assange should be extradited to Sweden, but Wikileaks has found vows to make the decision.
April: A cache of classified US military documents is released by Wikileaks, including intelligence assessments of almost all 779 people being held in Cuba's Guantanamo Bay prison.
November: Assange loses appeal against the decision to extradite him.
June: Assange enters the Ecuadorian embassy in London with the request for political asylum.
August: Assange receives political asylum from Ecuador.
June: Assange tells a group of journalists that he will not leave the embassy even if sex disputes against him are ended for fear of being extradited to the US.
August: Swedish prosecutors drop investigations into some sex allegations against Assange because of time restrictions. The investigation into suspected rape remains active.
July: Wikileaks starts by leaking emails from representatives of the American Democratic Party who favor Hillary Clinton.
November: Assange is questioned about the allegation of sex at the Ecuadorian embassy in the presence of the assistant public prosecutor Ingrid Isgren and police inspector Cecilia Redell. The interview takes two days.
January: Barack Obama agrees that whistleblower Chelsea Manning will be released from prison. Her announced release raises speculations. Assange will end his self-imposed exile after Wikileaks tweeted that he would agree to American rendition.
April: Lenin Moreno becomes the new president of Ecuador, who was known to want to improve diplomatic relations between his country and the US.
May: An investigation into gender discrimination against Assange is suddenly rejected by Swedish prosecutors.
January: Ecuador confirms that it has granted citizenship to Assange following its request.
February: Assange is visited by Pamela Anderson and Nobel Prize winner Adolfo Perez Esquivel.
March: The Ecuadorian embassy suspends Assands internet access because it fails to keep a promise it made the year before to not send & # 39; messages that caused interference with other states & # 39 ;.
August: Senate committee asks to interview Assange as part of their investigation into alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 elections.
September: Assange resigns as editor of WikiLeaks.
October: Assange reveals that he will take legal action against the government of Ecuador and accuses him of violating his & # 39; fundamental rights and freedoms & # 39 ;.
November: The US Department of Justice accidentally mentions Assange in a judicial document that says he has been indicted in secret.
January: Assange's lawyers say they are taking action to ensure that President Trump's government indicts & # 39; secretly & # 39; deposits against him.
6 April: WikiLeaks tweets that a high-level Ecuadorian source has told Assange that within & # 39; hours or days & # 39; will be expelled from the embassy. But a senior Ecuadorian official says no decision has been taken to remove him from the London building.
11 April: Assange has his diplomatic asylum revoked by Ecuador.
May 23: Assange is hit by 18 counts by a federal grand jury in Virginia
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