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Extraditing Assange to US would 'criminalize work of journalists'

Catalan associations warn against setting "irreparable" precedent "threatening freedom of information"


12 May 2022 07:59 PM



WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should not be extradited to the United States from the United Kingdom because doing so would "threaten freedom of information" and "criminalize the work of journalists," Catalan journalists and media outlets warned on Thursday.

"The reasons given in his indictment describe the work that journalists normally do," a joint statement from the Catalan Journalists Association (Col·legi de Periodistes de Catalunya) and Catalan Information Council (Consell de la Informació de Catalunya) reads.

According to them, allowing the whistleblower to be tried in the United States would set an "irreparable" precedent for the world's democracies.

"Citizens have the right to know" when authorities do not act correctly, legally, ethically or efficiently, they argue. 

Although CPC and CIC claim to not approve of all of Assange's methods, they say considering his actions espionage could hinder freedom of the press, especially as he informed the public of war crimes, widespread spying, and tax havens. 

Assange, who is wanted for allegedly violating the country's 1917 espionage law for publishing declassified information regarding US military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, has been detained in a high-security prison since 2019 when he was forcibly removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. 


  • An image of Julian Assange held by a protester in Barcelona in early 2020 (by Marc Vázquez)

  • An image of Julian Assange held by a protester in Barcelona in early 2020 (by Marc Vázquez)