New York, November 16, 2018–The Committee to Protect Journalists is closely monitoring news reports that the U.S. Department of Justice has secretly filed charges against the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange.
“We are closely monitoring reports that prosecutors have prepared a sealed indictment against Julian Assange,” said Alexandra Ellerbeck, CPJ’s North America program coordinator. “While the charges are not known, we would be concerned by a prosecution that construes publishing government documents as a crime. This would set a dangerous precedent that could harm all journalists, whether inside or outside the United States.”
In 2010, CPJ sent a letter to the Obama administration urging officials not to charge Assange for the publication of classified materials. This year, CPJ reported on experts’ concerns over a civil lawsuit filed by the Democratic National Committee, which argues that Assange and WikiLeaks were involved in a criminal conspiracy to hack the committee’s servers during the 2016 election.