News Club / 26 February 2024

Is Julian Assange a criminal or a journalist?

Recently there was a 2-day hearing for Julian Assange in the UK’s High Court. What it is about is determining whether he should be granted a full appeal to challenge his extradition to the United States. If he wins, then a date will be set for a full appeal hearing. But if he loses, he will have exhausted all avenues and will face charges in America for espionage and hacking. If found guilty, he could face 175 years in prison. 

It’s a big one. And there’s a lot to it – we haven’t even got to the part where he is an Aussie, a father, and our federal MPs last week passed a motion in support of his release.

Club Picks:
This article from Time is a good overview to get up to speed on who Julian Assange is, why the US is pushing for his extradition, and the arguments put forward by his supporters/defence team.

This Sydney Morning Herald/Age profile from 2022 of Jennifer Robinson. She’s an Aussie human rights lawyer who works with Assange’s legal team. She says it’s absurd he could face extradition for publishing truthful information in the public interest. 

Hillary Clinton’s interview with Sarah Ferguson on ABC TV’s Four Corners (skip to the 25-minute mark for her views on Assange). Clinton was the US Secretary of State when WikiLeaks published the classified information in question, and she has been one of the loudest voices on why he should be called to account.

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