Russia Slams Assange Arrest As 'Revenge of the U.S'

Roman Schwartz
April 13, 2019

The Committee to Protect Journalists has expressed deep concerneds by the USA prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Assange now faces extradition to the United States, where he has been charged with hacking-related offenses. Press freedom in Russian Federation is extremely limited, and the country ranked 148 out of 180 nations in the Reporters Without Borders 2018 Press Freedom Index.

But will it? But by going out of its way to charge him only under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the US government seems to indicate it did not want to set a risky precedent. But Judge Napolitano said that the extradition process to the USA may take years, as the United Kingdom faces legal issues of its own.

The 47-year-old Australian was arrested by British police at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, after the South American nation withdrew its protection of the famous hacker.

Over the weekend, the Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Relations ramped up the rhetoric against Assange when it put out a fiery statement rejecting "the fake news that has circulated in the last few days on social media, many of them spread by an organization linked to Mr".

The Assange prosecution "would be unprecedented and unconstitutional and would open the door to criminal investigations of other news organizations", the ACLU's Ben Wizner tells Sullivan.

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Assange has been living at Ecuador's embassy in London since 2012 when he sought refuge there after being accused of sexual assault in Sweden.

The Ecuadorian government blamed WikiLeaks for the leaked documents, dubbed the INA Papers, an allegation that WikiLeaks denies.

Assange became known in 2010 when Wikileaks, which he founded, published a series of leaks. But the line there is a little too close for comfort for me, and many others. She told CNN yesterday that Assange had successfully "informed the American people about actions that were taking place that they should be aware of" and that his prosecution by USA law enforcement is "some form of retaliation". Assange would not leave the embassy until this week.

Ecuador's Maria Paula Romo has not named the man but has said he has been arrested for "investigative purposes".

Elisabeth Massi Fritz, a Swedish lawyer who is representing a woman who alleged that Assange raped her, told the Associated Press via text message Thursday that "we are going to do everything" to have the Swedish case reopened "so Assange can be extradited to Sweden and prosecuted for rape".

USA prosecutors say Assange was part of a criminal conspiracy to hack and steal information harmful to the United States. David Allen Green, a British legal commentator who has tracked the allegations against Assange for years, wrote on Twitter that the Swedish request would probably be given precedence "because of historic request and pending limitation period".

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