Target: US Department of Justice
Goal: To ensure that Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange is not prosecuted for free political expression in the United States.
While Ecuadorian officials continue to debate whether or not they will grant asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, it is becoming clearer that officials in the United States have plans to prosecute him for his work as a whistleblowing journalist. The Espionage Act, which focuses primarily on anti-government speech during wartime in the US, has been used to subpoena social networking accounts relating to Assange and his Wikileaks history. It is also rumored that the activist has a 40,000-page file compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, leading many to believe his fear of extradition to the United States is completely justified.
The asylum decision being made by Ecuador revolves mainly around whether or not Assange should be extradited to Sweden on charges of sexual assault. While Assange vehemently denies the allegations, his greater fear is of being interrogated by US authorities on charges related to treason and exposure of government secrets. The Obama administration continues to deny that it seeks the Wikileaks founder, but his fear of persecution became more justified after the detention and trial of accused whistleblower Bradley Manning, who was kept in what the UN described as inhumane and possibly torturous conditions in the year leading up to his trial.
Whether he is granted asylum or not, there are still clear signs that United States authorities have plans to interrogate the Wikileaks founder. Sign this petition and urge the United States Department of Justice to ensure that Julian Assange be granted all of his First Amendment rights regarding the protection of free speech and press, and discontinue investigation into Assange should he be granted political asylum in Ecuador.
Dear United States Department of Justice:
Regardless of whether or not Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is granted asylum in Ecuador in the coming weeks, the United States has a responsibility within the international community to ensure that his political speech is protected. Even if that speech may go against what the governments of the world want to hear, the ability to speak up against oppression and other wrongdoings is important and paves way for improvement. If Assange’s rights to free speech are taken away, there is nothing to say that other US citizens won’t also have this protection taken away in the future.
Because of the treatment of recent whistleblower Bradley Manning, there is great fear that the Wikileaks founder will be subject to ill treatment or torture should he be interrogated by US officials. Before this happens, we urge that you ensure the protection of his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and press, and in the event that Assange is granted asylum in Ecuador, we ask that you discontinue the intensive investigation in his name.
[Your Name Here]