In support of Julian Assange and in defence of journalism

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Journalism itself is on trial in the proceedings against Julian Assange that opened in London on Monday February 24th 2020 and in which the United States is seeking to extradite him from Great Britain over charges that include espionage. The founder of WikiLeaks is not a spy but an activist working on behalf of a fundamental right: the right to know everything that is in the public interest. That is why we are supporting him, writes Mediapart’s publishing editor Edwy Plenel in this opinion article.

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The fate of Julian Assange concerns us all, journalists and citizens, news professionals and the public for whom the news is destined. It is because he made major revelations about America's wars and violations of human rights that the founder of WikiLeaks faces 18 charges in the United States, including espionage. The request for extradition to the United States from the United Kingdom is the culmination of eight years of constant persecution. Currently in detention in the UK for nearly a year, Assange has been deprived of his freedom since 2012, having spent seven years shut up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where his private life and his meetings with his lawyers were spied on by CIA contractors (read the Mediapart investigation by Jérôme Hourdeaux here).