FPF statement on rejection of Julian Assange’s extradition appeal

FPF Logo for circles

Promoting press freedom in the 21st century

Londres (Reino Unido), 18 de Agosto 2014

Freedom of the Press Foundation (FPF) is highly disappointed by the UK High Court’s rejection of Julian Assange’s appeal of his extradition to the United States on Espionage Act charges.

While Assange may still have additional legal remedies available to avoid extradition, it seems increasingly likely that it will be up to President Joe Biden, who recently proclaimed that “journalism is not a crime,” to do the right thing and end this Trump-era prosecution.

“The idea of Assange or anyone being tried in a U.S. court for obtaining and publishing confidential documents the same way investigative reporters do every day should be terrifying to all Americans,” said FPF Director of Advocacy Seth Stern.

Get Notified. Take Action.

As FPF Executive Director Trevor Timm has previously explained, anyone who values the First Amendment should staunchly oppose these charges no matter what they think of Assange or Wikileaks. The case is not about one individual, it’s about freedom of the press, and the government weaponizing the Espionage Act to criminalize routine newsgathering.

“If Biden lets this case proceed, future administrations will surely use the precedent of the Assange prosecution, and the unconstitutional authority to criminalize newsgathering that Biden is claiming, to go after journalists they don’t like,” said Stern.

“It’s time for Biden to drop this case and show the world he’s serious about press freedom.”

Donate to support press freedom

Your support is more important than ever.

Read more about Prison

Ex-CIA employee deserves a long prison sentence — but not for leaking documents

It’s troubling that our government apparently views disclosing its secrets as an exponentially more serious offense than possessing troves of child pornography

The GOP’s press freedom problem is bigger than Trump

Republican politicians have flipped from rallying against censorship to threatening baseless prosecutions of journalists

Deferred prosecution agreements silence and extort journalists

Authorities chill press freedom when they condition dropping baseless charges on journalists agreeing to behave and paying fines