New York, January 4, 2021 – The Committee to Protect Journalists today welcomed a British court’s decision to deny the United States’ request to extradite WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and urged the U.S. Department of Justice to drop all charges against him.
“We are heartened that a British court has denied the United States’ request to extradite Julian Assange. The U.S. government’s decision to charge the WikiLeaks founder set a harmful legal precedent for the prosecution of journalists around the world simply for interacting with their sources,” said CPJ Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney. “We urge the U.S. Department of Justice to refrain from further pursuing extradition through appeals and to drop all charges against Assange.”
If extradited and convicted in the United States, Assange faces up to 175 years in prison: 10 years for each of the 17 charges filed under the Espionage Act, and five years for a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act violation, according to CPJ research.