WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested in London.
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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in London. Assange had been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy for 7 years.
British authorities detained the Australian national. He was wanted for skipping bail in 2012 while under investigation for sexual assault & rape. Metropolitan Police said he was also arrested on behalf of the U.S. who issued an extradition warrant for Assange. The U.S. charged Assange in November with ‘computer-related’ offenses.
WikiLeaks has been releasing classified documents for more than a decade. The website released 750,000 documents in March 2010, that former Army soldier Chelsea Manning stole. Manning spent roughly 7 years in jail in connection with the offenses.
WikiLeaks published nearly 20,000 emails in July 2016, which Russian intelligence officers had stolen from DNC officials The emails, which showed the DNC favored presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders, were purposely published at the same time as the Democratic National Convention. Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian officials for the hacking of the emails, but did not file charges against Assange.
Assange’s sexual assault charges in Sweden were dropped in 2017. The Wikileaks founder has consistently denied these allegations. Assange is charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.
Officials warn Assange’s arrest and extradition could start a dangerous precedent for the future of freedom of the press.
‘Any prosecution by the United States of Mr. Assange for Wikileaks’ publishing operations would be unprecedented and unconstitutional, and would open the door to criminal investigations of other news organizations. Moreover, prosecuting a foreign publisher for violating U.S. secrecy laws would set an especially dangerous precedent for U.S. journalists, who routinely violate foreign secrecy laws to deliver information vital to the public’s interest.’ – Ben Wizner / Director, ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project
Assange lived in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for almost 7 years. Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said his government removed Assange’s diplomatic asylum because Assange had ‘repeatedly violated international conventions’
“I am sure that the whole House will welcome the news this morning that the Metropolitan Police have arrested Julian Assange, arrested for breach of bail after nearly seven years in the Ecuadorean embassy. He has also been arrested in relation to an extradition request from the United States authorities. This is now a legal matter before the courts. My Right Honourable friend the Home Secretary will make a statement on this later, but I would like to thank the Metropolitan Police for carrying out their duties with great professionalism and to welcome the cooperation of the Ecuadorean government in bringing this matter to a resolution. Mr Speaker, this goes to show that in the United Kingdom no one is above the law.” – British PM Theresa May