Five of the world’s leading news outlets have sent an open letter to US President Joe Biden asking him to drop the charges against Australian Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
The letter states the charges against him set a ‘dangerous precedent’, relating to receiving and publishing classified material that revealed war crimes, torture, and environmental crimes. Assange is currently in a maximum security prison in London, and hundreds of doctors warn he could ‘die in jail in the coming months’.
Aotearoa 4 Assange's Matt Ó Branáin welcomed the statement saying ‘Joe Biden cannot run from this. It would be a huge mistake to allow this disastrous prosecution to fall under his legacy. Free Speech is integral to the US identity and international respect.’
Ó Branáin renewed calls for Jacinda Ardern to intervene diplomatically with Joe Biden and Rishi Sunak, saying 'the case imperils not only Global Press Freedom, but New Zealand journalists working or travelling abroad, the integrity and safety of our troops, and the broader public's right to know. Staying silent on this is complicity, and will not age well. The public awareness of the significance of this case is growing every day.’
The New York Times article used a photo of the Human Chain around British Parliament on October 8th, that New Zealander Matt Ó Branáin inspired.