Leading journalists, lawyers, academics, and press freedom groups speaking out in defense of the First Amendment and in support of Julian Assange.

Noam Chomsky

Academic, activist 

“Julian Assange shouldn’t be the subject of a grand jury hearing, he should be given a medal. He’s contributing to democracy.”

Alice Walker

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, black and feminist rights activist

“Years from now people will say: Oh, if only I had known what we were losing when they abused this decent and courageous man!
I would have done something! But now, what can I do, since these days I don’t dare express what I know and think! Regret is too often the fruit of silence.”

Daniel Ellsberg

Whistleblower, Former United States military analyst (R.I.P.)

“The declaration of war came today. This is a historic day, and a very challenging one for American democracy.” Source
“The Beginning of the End for Press Freedom.” Source

Agnes Callamard

Director, Global Freedom of Expression, Columbia University; UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions

“Assange must NEVER be extradited to the USA. It’s a serious threat to him personally and freedoms we usually honor, such as press freedom, freedom of expression and FOI.”

Amnesty International
USA must drop charges against Julian Assange

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Reporters Without Borders
Assange’s extradition to the US would “threaten the work of all journalists

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International Bar Association
IBAHRI condemns UK treatment of Julian Assange in US extradition trial

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PEN International
United Kingdom: Julian Assange should not be extradited to the United States

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Human Rights Watch
The Assange prosecution threatens modern journalism

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ARTICLE 19 calls for US Justice Department to drop charges against Assange

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The National Union of Journalists
Assange extradition “a devastating blow for media freedom”

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American Civil Liberties Union
For the first time in the history of our country, the government has brought criminal charges against a publisher…

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OSCE Media Freedom Representative
OSCE Media Freedom Representative calls on UK authorities not to extradite WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange to the US

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Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press
Any government use of the Espionage Act to criminalize the receipt and publication of classified information poses a dire threat to journalists

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Freedom of the Press Foundation
The Trump admin’s new charges against Julian Assange are a fundamental threat to press freedom in the 21st century

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Free Press
In Assange Indictment, the Trump Administration Uses the Espionage Act to Subvert the First Amendment

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The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom
Charging WikiLeaks founder Assange under the Espionage Act is a threat to press freedom and investigative journalism

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IADL urges the Human Rights Council to call upon the UK to ensure Mr. Assange’s immediate freedom of movement

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The Committee to Protect Journalists
Assange indictment marks alarming new stage in US war on leaks

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Doctors for Assange initiative– 200+ Signatories
End torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange

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Progressive Democrats of Americ
More than 100 German celebrities form politics, science, culture and the media signed an appeal “Release Julian Assange from custody”

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The National Union of Journalists
National Union of Journalists issues resolution on Assange extradition case

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Courage Foundation
40+ Rights Groups Call on UK to Free Julian Assange

Read → Letter →

Lawyers for Assange
Open Letter of lawyers, academics & international legal organizations calling on UK Government to stop Julian Assange’s extradition

Website → Letter →

National Lawyers Guild
NLG Reiterates Support of Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Free Press


Leading academics, legal experts, investigative journalists, press freedom organizations, human rights groups, and politicians oppose the extradition of Julian Assange.

Ben Wizner

Director, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project

“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. ” Source

Nils Melzer

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture

“The case is a huge scandal and represents the failure of Western rule of law. If Julian Assange is convicted, it will be a death sentence for freedom of the press.”

“In the US, Assange is accused of a political offence (espionage) & faces detention practices amounting to Torture/CIDTP. This means:
• He cannot be lawfully extradited
• His detention has no legal basis
He must be promptly released
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Trevor Timm

Co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation

“These unprecedented charges against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks can be considered to be the most significant and terrifying threat to the First Amendment in the 21st century.” Read more

Glenn Greenwald

American attorney, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist

“The Indictment of Julian Assange under the Espionage Act is a threat to the press and the American People”

Cornel West

Author, historian, academic, social justice leader

“This is a life and death issue. This is…an issue of press freedom, it is an issue of trying to preserve the conditions for the possibility of democracies here and abroad. That’s what’s at stake here.”

Jameel Jaffer

Executive Director of the Knight First Amendment Institute

“The indictment of Mr. Assange poses a grave threat to press freedom in the United States. This case is the first in which the U.S. government has relied on the 1917 Espionage Act as the basis for the prosecution of a publisher.”

Mairead Maguire

Nobel Peace Prize winner

“Julian Assange and his colleagues in Wikileaks have shown on numerous occasions that they are one of the last outlets of true democracy and their work for our freedom and speech”

Mary Kostakidis

Australian  Journalist

“Stop the political persecution of a journalist, editor & publisher. We need Wikileaks – a free independent press protecting whistleblowers, an invaluable public archive & its courageous founder.”

Kenneth Roth

Executive Director, Human Rights Watch

“The British government can prevent Julian Assange being extradited for simply publishing information, so we shouldn’t assume that the US can get away with this, because the British government can stop it.”

Dr Suelette Dreyfus

Researcher. Writer. Civil Society Engineer

“The US wants to extradite him for ‘crimes of journalism’ – in other words, doing his job as a publisher and journalist in reporting accurate facts. They may be uncomfortable facts, but they have been proven to be accurate reportage – all of them – because he has also reported the supporting source documents.” Source

Edward Snowden

Whistleblower, President at Freedom of the Press Foundation

“The Department of Justice just declared war––not on Wikileaks, but on journalism itself. This is no longer about Julian Assange: This case will decide the future of media.” Source

Tor Ekeland

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act lawyer

“The Assange prosecution looks more like an attack on core political speech protected by the First Amendment than a proper exercise of prosecutorial discretion.”

“Assange and WikiLeaks are publishers just like The New York Times. And if it was legal for The New York Times to publish the classified Pentagon Papers detailing the US’ lies when it came to Vietnam, it’s legal for WikiLeaks to do the same.”

Clive Stafford Smith

Human rights lawyer, founder of Reprive

“US efforts to jail Assange for espionage are a grave threat to a free media” Source

Barton Gellman

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Staff writer at TheAtlantic, Author

“Assange is charged with asking for information, with receiving information, and with publishing information. And I don’t mind saying that those are exactly the things that I do.” Source

Alan Rusbridger

Journalist, Ex-editor, Guardian, Principal at LMH College at the University of Oxford

“The new indictment against Assange falls into three parts – each of them attempting to criminalise things journalists regularly do as they receive and publish true information given to them by sources or whistleblowers. Assange is accused of trying to persuade a source to disclose yet more secret information. ” Source

Dunja Mijatović

Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe

“Julian Assange’s potential extradition has human rights implications that reach far beyond his individual case. The indictment raises important questions about the protection of those that publish classified information in the public interest, including those that expose human rights violations.”
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Mads Andenæs

Professor of Law at the University of Oslo, lawyer, a chair of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law

“Mr. Assange is in arbitrary detention and the UK and Sweden should abide by the UN ruling against them and take the steps that are necessary to bring his detention to an end.”

Maureen Baird

Former warden for U.S. Bureau of Prisons

“Suicides in prison often occur in solitary confinement and during pre-trial status. With the likelihood of Mr. Assange being housed in solitary confinement, he would be at greater risk for suicide and self-harm.”

Thomas Drake

Former senior executive of the U.S. National Security Agency, Whistleblower

“US press routinely publishes ‘secret’ leaks. 1st time in US history gov’t indicts publisher for espionage. Pretext normalized w/ Obama Admin Espionage Act cases going after sources w/ press implicated in all. Sends Orwellian msg to ANY media as Trump sets fire to 1st Amendment.”

Joel Simon

Executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists

“The US is asserting extra-territorial jurisdiction in a publishing case… anyone, anywhere in the world…could be prosecuted for espionage.”

Ewen MacAskill

Former Guardian defense correspondent, Washington bureau chief, diplomatic editor & chief political reporter

“US did not waste any time putting in extradition request for Assange. Terrible precedent if journalist/publisher ends up in US jail for Iraq war logs and state department cables.” Source

Maria Fernanda Espinosa

President of the General Assembly of the United Nations

María Fernanda Espinosa hopes that Assange’s rights will be protected Source

Jeremy Scahill

Investigative journalist

“The arrest of Julian Assange represents an extremely dangerous crossing of the rubicon. This is an assault on journalism and a free press. All journalists should stand in fierce opposition.” Source

Srećko Horvat

Philosopher, author, co-founder of DiEM25 and Progressive International

“10 years ago today WikiLeaks published the Collateral Murder video showing the indiscriminate murder of innocent civilians by US soldiers during the illegal war on Iraq. This is why Julian Assange is in prison, while the real criminals are still free.”

Rune Ottosen

Head of whistle blower committee of Norwegian PEN and Professor emeritus Oslo Metropolitan University

“Julian Assange has revealed war crimes and extradition and a potensial life in prison will be an attack on freedom of expression.”

Oliver Stone

Film director, screenwriter, film producer, author

“Julian Assange is a publisher for truth. He’s done great work on behalf of mankind despite his inhumane treatment. This case is crucial to the survival of our right to know and our essential freedom against USA and UK oppression — and now tyranny!”

Mark Feldstein

Journalism historian and professor, Ex reporter at CNN, NBC News, ABC News

“Julian Assange faces lifetime imprisonment for publishing truthful information about … abuse of power, precisely what the First Amendment was written to protect.”

Dinah PoKempner

General Counsel of Human Rights Watch

“US: Assange’s Possible Extradition Threatens Journalism” Source

Micòl Savia

Permanent Representative of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers to the United Nations in Geneva

“Attempts to prosecute Julian Assange on account of his publishing activities set a dangerous precedent against the freedom of the press throughout the world”

Stefania Maurizi

Italian investigative journalist

“This case is about whether the press is allowed to publish documents like the video “Collateral Murder,” which records war crimes… to publish documents about the NSA spying on world leaders, whether the press is allowed to publish documents on Guantanamo Bay.”

Rebecca Vincent

Director of Reporters Without Borders (RSF International Campaigns) Human rights campaigner and press freedom advocate

“Julian Assange’s case is of tremendous public interest, not just in the UK but internationally, and these proceedings cannot be held behind closed doors. We’ll continue to ensure as robust scrutiny as possible at RSF”

Gabe Rottman

Director of the Reporters Committee’s Technology and Press Freedom Project

“A profoundly troubling legal theory, one rarely contemplated and never successfully deployed…to punish the pure act of publication of newsworthy government secrets under the nation’s spying laws.”

Politicians, Ministers, MPs

Bob Carr

Former Premier of New South Wales, Australia

“Does an Australian passport mean nothing? That q is raised by Canberra’s failure to act on revelations about the cruelty in the treatment of Julian Assange. It’s not hard for Aus govt to let Boris know that strip searches, isolation, handcuffs & a glass booth are over the top”

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Scott Ludlam

Former Senator for Western Australia

Read Scott Ludlam’s e-mail to Senator Payne, the Australian Foreign Minister. in which he presents 4 open letters from MPs, legal professionals, human rights advocates and journalists.

“Here’s why Australian publisher Julian Assange is in prison right now: for publishing this and this and this None of this is espionage. It is publishing. It is publishing. It. Is. Publishing. #4Corners

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David Davis

Conservative MP, Former Secretary of State, UK

“Assange is a symbol of the American State’s affront at having its secrets put out in the public domain. That’s why I think it’s a political case. Assange has been blamed for whole series of things which are untrue but the impetus behind extradition request hasn’t stopped which tells you it wasn’t to do with those things. It’s about high politics & him being symbol of what they see as an assault on US state”

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Bernie Sanders

US Senator, Former US Presidential Candidate, USA

“Let me be clear: it is a disturbing attack on the First Amendment for the Trump administration to decide who is or is not a reporter for the purposes of a criminal prosecution. Donald Trump must obey the Constitution, which protects the publication of news about our government.”

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Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador

President of Mexico

“What the cables demonstrated is the workings of the global system and its authoritarian nature, these are state secrets that have become known thanks to his work, and I hope that this is taken into consideration and he is freed and he is no longer tortured.”

Source →

Sigmar Gabriel

Former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Germany

“In Europe the following must apply: anyone who has been tortured needs help and can rely on the rule of law. Neither is guaranteed with Julian Assange.”

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Yanis Varoufakis

Politician, DiEM25, Greece

“The game is up. Years of lies exposed. It was never about Sweden, Putin, Trump or Hillary. Assange was persecuted for exposing war crimes. Will those duped so far now stand with us in opposing his disappearance after a fake trial where his lawyers will not even know the charges?”


Tulsi Gabbard

Former US Presidential Candidate, USA

“Charging Assange under the Espionage Act will have a serious chilling effect on our most fundamental rights of freedom of speech & freedom of the press. Every American – certainly every journalist – must strongly condemn this anti-democratic act by the Trump Administration”

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Lula da Silva

Former President of Brazil

“Assange is a hero of our time. His actions helped to unravel the manipulation of the facts by the US intelligence services. He has done more for democracy in the world than many elected leaders. His arrest is an attack on freedom of expression. And his eventual extradition, if it occurs, violence against human rights and would put his life at risk.”


Barnaby Joyce

Former Deputy Prime Minister, Australia

“If someone was in another country at a time an alleged event occurred then the sovereignty of the land they were in has primacy over the accusation of another nation”

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Peter Whish-Wilson

Greens Senator, Australia

“The UN has this week reported that Assange is showing acute signs of exposure to psychological torture. We’re calling on the Government to intervene and ensure he’s brought back home – not extradited to the very country whose wrongdoing he exposed.”

Read → Watch →

Ron Wyden

US Senator for Oregon, USA

“This is not about Julian Assange. This is about the use of the Espionage Act to charge a recipient and publisher of classified information. I am extremely concerned about the precedent this may set and potential dangers to the work of journalists and the First Amendment.”

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Evo Morales

President of Bolivia (2006 – 2019)

“We strongly condemn the detention of Julian Assange and the violation of freedom of speech. Our solidarity is with Assange who is persecuted by the US Govt for revealing its human rights violations, murders of civilians and diplomatic espionage”

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Eva Joly

Former Member of the European Parliament

“The possible extradition to the US of Julian Assange the founder of WikiLeaks tells a lot about what we want to do for the future of our democracies. This is not only about the fate of a single man, it is above all about the protection of freedom of information and transparency!”

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Andrew Wilkie

Independent Federal MP for Clark, Australia

“If Assange is indeed extradited to the US, he faces serious human rights violations including exposure to torture and a dodgy trial. And this has serious implications for freedom of speech and freedom of the press here in Australia”

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Richard Burgon

Former Shadow Justice Secretary, Labour MP, UK

“Extremely troubling. Prosecutors have announced new charges including for publishing files on the US wars in Afghanistan & Iraq. The American Civil Liberties Union warns of “an extraordinary escalation of the Trump administration’s attacks on journalism”

Read → Watch →

Jeremy Corbyn

Former Leader of the Labour Party, UK

“The extradition of Julian Assange to the US for exposing evidence of atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan should be opposed by the British government.
What happened to free speech?”

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Jeremy Corbyn praises Julian Assange and calls for extradition to US to be halted during UK Parliament Question Time

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Rex Patrick

Centre Alliance Senator for South Australia

“This highly political prosecution must be strongly opposed by the Australian Government. Prime Minister Scott Morrison should speak very clearly in defence of press freedom and Mr Assange.”

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Alicia Castro

Argentine Diplomat, Argentina

Trump pursues Assange and wants to extradite him and condemn him for life, for having published the Truth ABOUT America. It’s not just Julian Assange, WikiLeaks who’s in danger. It is an attack on investigative journalism, freedom of expression and the right to information.”

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John McDonnell

Labour MP, Former Shadow Chancellor of the Excheque, UK

“I am more convinced than ever before that this man first of all is innocent of the charges that have been brought against him, secondly that actually morally he made the right decision what Julian Assange and his colleagues did. He must not be extradited to the United States of America because I don’t believe that he will get a fair trial, a fair hearing and a risk therefore is that he could spend the rest of his life in prison.”

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Rafael Correa

Former President of Ecuador

“The greatest traitor in Ecuadorian and Latin American history, Lenín Moreno, allowed the British police to enter our embassy in London to arrest Assange.
Moreno is corrupt, but what he has done is a crime that humanity will never forget.”

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Sevim Dagdelen

Member of the Bundestag, Germany

“Anyone who speaks of human rights and freedom of the press must not remain silent about the fate of dissident Julian Assange. His extradition to the United States must be prevented. Freedom and health for Julian Assange!”

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Public Hearing: Media Under Attack

Ron Paul

Former member of U.S. House of Representatives from Texas, USA

“Last week’s arrest of Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange by the British government on a US extradition order is an attack on all of us. It is an attack on the US Constitution. It is an attack on the free press. It is an attack on free speech. It is an attack on our right to know what our government is doing with our money in our name. Julian Assange is every bit as much a political prisoner as was Cardinal Mindszenty in Hungary or Nelson Mandela in South Africa.”

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Andrej Hunko

Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Germany

Julian Assange must be released immediately and extradition to the United States prevented. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe called on the Member States on Tuesday 28 January in a resolution on media freedom after a corresponding amendment was adopted by consensus.”


Adam Bandt

Greens Leader, Australia

“The criminalisation of journalism must end. If this government wants to show its commitment to protecting press freedoms and protecting democracy, it needs to bring Julian Assange home and protect him from extradition to the United States.”

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Bjørnar Moxnes

Norwegian Member of Parliament

“This authoritarian precedent the United States is now establishing, and which can easily be exploited by other major powers, will in turn make the pursuit of Assange and Wikileaks one of the worst global threats to freedom of speech of our time. Stop dilating after the United States, stand up for freedom of speech and say clearly no to extradition of Julian Assange.”

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Dr Arthur Chesterfield-Evans

Progressive Independent for North Sydney, Australia

“We demand that Julian Assange receive the healthcare that he’s entitled to, and that the psychological torture be stopped immediately.”


Clare Daly

Member of the European Parliament

“Journalist Julian Assange faces 175 years in prison for exposing war crimes in 2010, including the crime of the murder of two Iraqi journalists. This is the defining Press Freedom case of our age.”


Ricardo Patiño

Former Foreign Minister and Former Minister of Defense of Ecuador

“World shame! Lenin Moreno took his betrayal to a global extent. He authorized the arrest of Assange in our embassy in London. He violated the Constitution, the international agreements and put at risk the life of a journalist that revealed atrocious crimes. We condemn you Judas“

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Mehreen Faruqi

Greens Senator for NSW, Australia

“Regardless of what you think about Assange as an individual, he is facing extradition to the US on charges relating to his work to shine light on potential war crimes – an act that won him Australia’s highest honour for journalism.”

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Nick McKim

Greens Senator for Tasmania, Australia

“Julian Assange is an Australian citizen. He needs to be brought home”


Jill Stein

Green Party Presidential Candidate 2012 & 2016, USA

“Time to call Julian Assange what he is: a political prisoner persecuted for publishing information that revealed crimes of the powerful. Democrats, Republicans & global elites despise him for exposing war crimes & corruption. Fight for his freedom to protect our own! #FreeAssange”


Philipa Veitch

Greens Councillor and Deputy Mayor, Australia

“We have accepted huge restrictions on our personal freedom to protect vulnerable members in our community from covid-19, but one freedom we should always defend is freedom of the press. Tonight I will call on council to support press freedom and the release of Julian Assange.”

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Mick Wallace

Member of the European Parliament

“Julian Assange is a journalist, editor + publisher, and is not, as CIA claim, a hostile foreign intelligence asset – he is entitled to protection under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “to seek, receive and impart information + ideas thru any media….”

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Sahra Wagenknecht

Member of Bundestag, Germany

“Julian Assange is in danger to die in prison for being brave and uncovering war crimes. The silence of #BuReg on the situation of Assange is a shame. Foreign Minister #Maas must immediately campaign for his transfer to the hospital!”

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Julian Hill

Federal MP for Bruce, Australia

“They imprison and torture Julian Assange to silence him. I spoke up for his rights today … and the lights in Parliament literally go out”


Diane Abbott

Former Shadow Home Secretary, Labour MP, UK

“In this country we have protections for whistle-blowers, those who take personal risk to disclose wrongdoing in the public interest. Julian Assange is not being pursued to protect US national security. He is being pursued because he has exposed wrongdoing by US administrations”

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Mike Gravel

Former US Senator from Alaska, USA

Official statement from Sen. Mike Gravel about the arrest of Julian Assange

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George Christensen

Member of the House of Representatives, Australia

“I don’t think it’s fair at all to extradite an Australian citizen out of one foreign country into another foreign country, to face charges for what? For reporting on the facts.”


“Here’s why Australian publisher Julian Assange is in prison right now: for publishing this and this and this None of this is espionage. It is publishing. It is publishing. It. Is. Publishing. #4Corners

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Guillaume Long

Former Foreign Minister of Ecuador

“The delivery of Julian Assange, dragged by the British police after entering our diplomatic mission in order to remove him, is a national shame and a historical error that will leave a deep mark on Ecuador for a long time. Ecuador has just violated the principle of “non-refoulement” of asylees, a fundamental principle of protection of human rights enshrined in international law. Ecuador has just violated opinion 54/2015 of the UNWGAD.”

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Lee Rhiannon

Former Greens Senator, Australia

“Sign petition. Amnesty International calls on US to drop charges against Julian Assange. #FreeJulianAssange

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Richard Di Natale

Former Leader of Greens, Melbourne, Australia

“Australia must do more than simply provide a tokenistic offer of consular assistance. I call on the Foreign Minister to make the most of our so-called special relationship with the United States to ensure that Assange is not extradited to the US”

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Andrew Bartlett

Former Senator for Queensland, Australia

“Julian Assange is also Australia’s Political Prisoner. Our own govt is acquiescing to the political persecution & torture of an Australian, whose ‘crime’ was to work with others (incl many mainstream media outlets) to publish evidence of major war crimes.”

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Heike Hänsel

Member of the Bundestag, Germany

“We call on the British government not to extradite Julian Assange to the USA. The European Union must take action to everything to protect a politically persecuted publisher and journalist.”

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Ana Miranda Paz

Former Member of the European Parliament

Joint Statement on the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in front of HMP Belmarsh prison in London: Freedom for Julian Assange – No extradition to the USA

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Chris Williamson

Former MP, UK

I wrote to the Home Secretary to outline why Julian’s ongoing detention is unjust and to reiterate the point that the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has been making for years, in requesting that Julian Assange be freed.”

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The Left in the European Parliament

Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left

Statement on Julian Assange’s arrest by UK authorities

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