WikiLeaks founder faces more than 170 years in prison

Julian Assange
File Reuters

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — The founder of WikiLeaks faces a total of more than 170 years in prison.

The United States brought a total of 18 charges against the founder of WikiLeaks. Julian Assange is charged with crimes related to “the largest case of disclosing secret information in US history.”

It is about espionage, collusion and disclosure of the names of secret sources. At the same time, the Justice Ministry uses the favorite formulation of the White House, pointing out that the actions of the journalist were “a threat to national security.”

British police detained Assange a month ago at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. This was done at the request of the United States. Then the charge from Washington was only one: “Conspiracy with the aim of computer hacking.”

This is an incident that occurred in March 2010, when the founder of WikiLeaks, together with the ex-analyst of American intelligence, Chelsea Manning, got access to secret documents.

For the theft of Pentagon data for Assange Manning received 35 years. True, then Barack Obama reduced the term to 7 years, and the former soldier was released. However, in March 2019, she was again arrested for refusing to testify in the WikiLeaks case.

At the time of the arrest of Assange, only 5 years of imprisonment under one article was shining. But now, if all 18 counts are convicted and the journalist receives the maximum term, the imprisonment will have to last about 175 years.

Assange’s lawyer Barry Pollack called the accusations against his client “unprecedented,” noting that they put at risk “all journalists in their quest to inform the public about the actions taken by the US government.” The Press Freedom Press Reporters Committee (RCFP) said the case is a “terrible threat” to media freedom, pointing to Washington’s violation of the first amendment.

“The End of National Security Journalism and the First Amendment [to the US Constitution]”,

This amendment guarantees that the US Congress will not encroach on freedom of speech, press and assembly, and will not support any religion.

But officials of the Ministry of Justice made it clear that in the case of Assange we are not talking about actions protected by the first amendment.

“Julian Assange is not a journalist,” said Assistant Attorney General John Demers. “No responsible actor, journalist or anyone else would intentionally publish the names of individuals who, he or she knew, are confidential, thus exposing them to serious danger”.

In the prosecution prosecutors stubbornly emphasize the difference between what Assange did as the founder and “public face” of WikiLeaks and the work of journalists. They are reminiscent of both Assange hacker promotion, the publication of classified information under the heading “Major Leaks of 2009”, and the incitement of Manning.

Prosecutors insist that Assange’s actions threatened the security of not only the US government, but also the people who worked with him. For example, reports of hostilities in Afghanistan and Iraq, published by Assange, included the names of Afghans and Iraqis who provided information to American and coalition forces.

The founder of WikiLeaks published a diplomatic correspondence exposing journalists, religious leaders and human rights activists. “Assange has created a serious and inevitable danger that the innocent people he called will receive serious physical damage or be detained.”

As noted in the accusation, Assange himself in an interview in August 2010 called it “regrettable” that the sources disclosed by WikiLeaks may suffer, but said that the resource is not obliged to protect them.

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