US files superseding indictment against whistleblower Julian Assange
On 24 June 2020, the US Department of Justice filed a new superseding indictment against whistleblower Julian Assange.
This new development is the latest in a long series of moves by the US government to manipulate legal loopholes in their targeting of Julian Assange, to undermine his defence, and to divert public attention from the extremely serious press freedom implications of his case.
What is a superseding indictment?
This new superseding indictment did not add new charges, but expands the scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act charge and changes the evidential basis of some of the other charges against Wikileaks founder.
This never-ending persecution simply has to stop. RSF believes Assange has been targeted for his contributions to public interest reporting and that his prosecution has serious implications for journalism internationally.
Whistleblower Julian Assange
Assange continues to be held at the high security UK Belmarsh prison, where he remains at risk of exposure to Covid-19 – a risk exacerbated by his underlying health concerns, adding urgency to the need for his immediate release.
He has been unable to participate remotely in administrative court proceedings for several months, reportedly feeling unwell and having been advised by his doctors that it was unsafe for him to access the prison’s video conferencing facilities.
On his 49th birthday, RSF calls again for all charges against Mr Assange to be dropped and for him to be immediately released. If not done yet, we invite you to share the #FreeAssange petition to as many of your friends and contacts as possible.
Julian Assange was arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London on April 11, 2019.
The WikiLeaks founder was arrested for alleged breach of bail at London embassy where he took refuge for seven years.
On June 13, 2019, Britain’s interior minister certified the US request to extradite Julian Assange on espionage grounds in a procedural move that opens the way for a court battle.
The US Justice Department had earlier confirmed that it had submitted a formal extradition request.
The final decision on whether Assange can be extradited will rest with the courts.