US is considering dropping Assange case

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President Joe Biden recently revealed that his administration is considering a request from the Australian government to drop the prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Assange, an Australian citizen, has been fighting extradition to the United States from the United Kingdom for years. Key points:
  • In late March 2023, the Australian parliament's lower house passed a motion urging the U.S. to end its case against Assange.
  • During a press encounter outside the White House on Wednesday, April 10, 2024, when asked about Australia's request, Biden responded, "We're considering it."
  • Assange faces 18 federal counts in the U.S., including 17 charges under the Espionage Act and one charge of conspiring to hack a computer.
  • U.S. prosecutors allege that Assange encouraged and aided Chelsea Manning, a former U.S. Army intelligence analyst, in stealing classified files before publishing them on WikiLeaks.
  • Supporters argue that Assange, as a journalist, should be protected under the First Amendment for exposing information of public interest. Critics accuse him of endangering national security and collaborating with foreign adversaries.
  • Assange has been detained in the U.K. since 2019, and a British court recently ruled that he cannot be extradited to the U.S. unless American authorities guarantee he will not face the death penalty.
The case has sparked intense debate about press freedom, national security, and the treatment of whistleblowers. While some view Assange as a journalist entitled to First Amendment protections, others consider him a criminal who jeopardized U.S. interests. The Biden administration's decision on whether to drop the charges against Assange could have significant implications for the future of journalism and government transparency.
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