Julian Assange is an Australian hacker known for leaking US secrets about war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Assange’s organization, WikiLeaks, has published a comprehensive collection of classification information, including details of the brutal killings of innocent civilians and the capture of hundreds of innocent civilians at Guantanamo Bay in the United States. Assange was able to do this with the help and support of Chelsea Manning, a former US Army intelligence analyst. It had access to classified information and was passed on to WikiLeaks.
Assange was able to obtain such intelligence through a program he developed. As a programmer, he created a platform for whistleblowers to send information anonymously to WikiLeaks. This technical investigation helped them access confidential information without compromising the security and identity of the informant. Chelsea’s revelation was made not through WikiLeaks but through online correspondence. Adrian Lamo sent the information to the US military’s Criminal Investigation Command. Chelsea was arrested and tried on 22 separate charges and later sent to prison. She may be considered a hero because she prefers to go to jail again instead of testifying against Assange once her actual sentence is serious.
Charges against Assange
On April 11, Assange was forcibly arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London and sent to Belmarsh Prison for alleged breach of bail. Assange is now facing extradition to the United States, where he could face a jury indictment for illegally hacking into a government computer. The indictment clearly states that Assange was charged with conspiracy to hack government computers in order to obtain highly classified and classified information from Meng. Eighteen charges against him arise from the highly controversial and brutal Spacing Act. The act has never been used against media groups or publishers before.
There is a difference of opinion between the various US administrations regarding the criminal charges against Assange: the Obama administration has rejected the criminal allegations against Assange, claiming that it would affect press freedom. Even in the case of Edward Snowden, which included the release of highly classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA), these agents were not criminally charged by the government. Even the current Trump administration, which previously praised WikiLeaks for leaking information against rival Hillary Clinton, now supports criminal charges against WikiLeaks.
Violation of international law
Assange was jailed in Belmarsh in April. The UN special rapporteur and medical team visited him in May and reported that Assange “showed all [all] symptoms as psychological distress.” Although the report calls for immediate health care for Assange, the British government has categorically rejected the claims and demands made by Special Reporter Neil Meltzer. Niels says the case has never been about Assange’s guilt or innocence, but if you try to divulge information against the world’s strongest governments, you will face the consequences.
Assange is facing trial in the UK for extradition. Before deciding whether or not to extradite Assange, British authorities need to review and consider the United States’ position on international law. The United States has even spoken out against the International Criminal Court (ICC). The US Secretary of State has already revoked the visa of the ICC’s chief prosecutor and threatened the court with economic sanctions. The United States has a history of withdrawing from international organizations and treaties, which shows that the country respects international law as long as it is beneficial. Such an attitude hardly supports the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States to face any trial.
Under international law, extradition is considered illegal if there is potential psychological harm through extradition. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has made it clear that a person who is on death row, awaiting execution, or where it is possible to obtain evidence against him through torture, This person should not be extradited. In the current case, Julian Assange faces 17 charges, including a minimum of 10 years in prison, as well as five years in prison for computer fraud. However, the agreement between the UK and the US prohibits extradition for political crimes. International law does not provide an objective definition for the formation of a political crime, nor does it clearly define the relationship between a general body of law and a regional one. Due to the fact that the Espionage Act has traditionally been used to make charges against political criminals as well as against Assange, it seems to be a political issue. Delivery will be restricted.
Constitution of Hudood
The Hudood Act prevents the prosecution from prosecuting crimes committed more than five years ago. This five-year limit applies to both conspiracy theories and computer fraud charges. The grand jury dropped the charge just before the eighth anniversary of the day Assange was charged with conspiracy with Manning. So, the question is whether the law of limits applies or not. As it turns out, there is an exception to this law, which states that terrorist acts that cross national boundaries will have an eight-year extension. In this case, the alleged conspiracy crossed national boundaries, but is it an act of terrorism?
The U.S. Department of Justice will have to convince the British government and the courts that Assange will be given a fair trial and will be allowed to use any applicable defense, including a restraining order. The British court has the power to deny extradition to such legal defects or to rely on the US judiciary to provide a fair trial for Assange.
Concerns about freedom of expression and expression
Freedom of the press around the world is already plagued by crackdowns, with various governments now trying to control the media. Publishers against them have been controlled. This process of WikiLeaks is a common component of journalism. If receiving and publishing information is considered a crime, then all news agencies are criminal organizations.
The attack on Julian Assange is an attack on the fundamental freedom of the press because intelligence was leaked by Chelsea Manning and he was jailed for it. If anyone is accused of violating security or if they are accused, it is Chelsea Manning. If the US wants to hold the press accountable, then why leave The Guardian, Washington Post or New York Times? Another question that arises here is: did Assange conspire to hack US classified documents, or did he just accept the information provided to him by the whistleblower? It seems that he only accepted the information that came to him. There must be a difference between a reporter who steals and leaks information and one who only reports it to the general public. Assange did not leak the information for personal gain. He disclosed information for the good of the people. He exposed US war crimes. The Pentagon Papers case was also based on intelligence leaks. In this case, the US Supreme Court ruled that the New York Times had the right to publish information under the First Amendment under the protection of press freedom.
According to Catherine Weiner, editor of the Guardian: “State power should never be used to suppress the pursuit of whistleblowers and investigative journalists’ stories that are clearly in the public interest.” The US extradition case against Assange is a disturbing attack on the freedom of the press and the right of the people to know.
To draw conclusions
Charging a publisher for exposing valuable information to the public good is in fact detrimental to press freedom around the world. If such a precedent is set, then the complete death of respect for international law and freedom of the press is coming.