The ruin of WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange.

On January 4th, 2021, a British judge Vanessa Barraitser ruled that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange would not be extradited to the US as had been requested. Julian Assange who is accused of conspiring to access information that is classified is facing 17 charges of espionage and computer misuse/hacking.

The WikiLeaks founder has struggled in the past decade and to understand why you need to understand where his story starts. We’ll break it down this way.

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Who is Julian Assange?


Julian Assange is a 49yr old Australian father of two. He is a reporter and also commonly known as an internet activist. He founded WikiLeaks in 2006 as a whistleblowing platform to enable people to share classified stories anonymously.

What is WikiLeaks?

WikiLeaks is a non-profit organization founded to publish news leaks and classified information. The platform gathered attention in 2010 when it leaked footage showing US bomb strikes on Iraqi civilians and two Reuters journalists.

Another one of its famous leaks is the one during the 2016 presidential campaigns in the United States when emails from Hilary Clinton’s campaign manager leaked. The emails revealed that Hilary Clinton was favored by the Democratic National Committee and so had the upper hand over her rival Bernie Sanders. The leaks that greatly harmed Clinton’s campaign were suspected to have been provided by Russia which the President of Russia, Putin denies to this day.

Julian Assange arrests and charges.

He was first arrested in 2010 by Swedish authorities over rape and sexual assault charges. Sweden then dropped the case in November 2019.

In 2019, the US accused him of attempting to hack into the US military bases and in so doing, endangering the lives of many. This is when the country decided to seek his extradition from the UK so that he could serve his punishment in the US.

What does extradition mean?

Extradition is an internationally recognized process under which one country can ask another to hand over a suspect to face trial.

In this case, the US is seeking Assange’s extradition from the UK where he is currently in prison serving his sentence for skipping bail.

However, this week that plea was blocked as the judge in charge of the case said that the WikiLeaks director will not be extradited. She said that it would be oppression of his rights considering the state of his mental health as he was diagnosed with depression and at a high risk of committing suicide.  

He now remains in Belmarsh, a UK prison where he is being held as the US plans on launching an extradition appeal.

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