Banner about Assange

Columbus activists held a banner at 161 and High Street in Worthington last Saturday, August 26 to demand freedom for Julian Assange. Amnesty International says: "The US government’s unrelenting pursuit of Julian Assange for having published disclosed documents that included possible war crimes committed by the US military is nothing short of a full-scale assault on the right to freedom of expression."

Julian Assange is currently being held at Belmarsh, a high security prison in the UK, on the basis of a US extradition request on charges that stem directly from the publication of disclosed documents as part of his work with Wikileaks.

The time left to save freedom of the press is short. The UK has agreed to extradite Assange to the US. If he is tried and convicted in an American court, all publishers will be open to prosecution with the possibility of a life sentence in prison for printing information that the US govt doesn't like.

What publisher would risk that? Assange's "crime" was publishing truths that the government wanted concealed from the public -- a heroic act.

Obama declined to prosecute Assange because he understood it would end press freedom. Trump, however, decided to prosecute him under the Espionage Act of 1917, and Biden is continuing with that prosecution, despite its contradiction to the First Amendment to the Constitution.

According to First Amendment Watch, "Assange is the first publisher in history to be charged with the World War I-era Espionage Act, igniting pushback from journalists around the world who say this could threaten press freedoms and endanger First Amendment protections."