Experts on Assange

Leading academics, legal experts, investigative journalists, press freedom organizations, human rights groups, and politicians oppose the extradition of Julian Assange.

Dunja Mijatović

Commissioner for Human Rights, Council of Europe

“Allowing Mr Assange’s
extradition… would have a chilling effect on media freedom, and could ultimately hamper the press in performing its task as purveyor of information and public watchdog in democratic societies.”

Michelle Bachelet

Former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

“The potential extradition and prosecution of Mr. Assange raises concerns relating to media freedom and a possible chilling effect on investigative journalism and on the activities of whistle-blowers.”

Dinah PoKempner

General Counsel of Human Rights Watch

“US: Assange’s Possible Extradition Threatens Journalism” Source

Joel Simon

Former Executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists

“The US is asserting extra-territorial jurisdiction in a publishing case… anyone, anywhere in the world…could be prosecuted for espionage.”

Noam Chomsky

Academic, activist 

“Julian Assange shouldn’t be the subject of a grand jury hearing, he should be given a medal. He’s contributing to democracy.”

Alice Walker

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist

“Years from now people will say: Oh, if only I had known what we were losing when they abused this decent and courageous man!
I would have done something! But now, what can I do, since these days I don’t dare express what I know and think! Regret is too often the fruit of silence.”

Trevor Timm

Co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation

“These unprecedented charges against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks can be considered to be the most significant and terrifying threat to the First Amendment in the 21st century.” Read more

Glenn Greenwald

American attorney, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist

“The Indictment of Julian Assange under the Espionage Act is a threat to the press and the American People”

Kenneth Roth

Executive Director, Human Rights Watch

“The British government can prevent Julian Assange being extradited for simply publishing information, so we shouldn’t assume that the US can get away with this, because the British government can stop it.”

Christophe Peschoux

Secretary of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

“It is time that Mr. Assange, who has already paid a high price for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of opinion, expression and information, and to promote the right to truth in the public interest, recovers his freedom”

Mairead Maguire

Nobel Peace Prize winner

“Julian Assange and his colleagues in Wikileaks have shown on numerous occasions that they are one of the last outlets of true democracy and their work for our freedom and speech”

Jodie Ginsberg

President, Committee to Protect Journalists

“The United States should live up to its stated commitment to a #freepress by dropping all charges against Julian Assange. This continued pursuit sets a harmful legal precedent that puts journalists everywhere at risk of prosecution simply for interacting with their sources.”

Jeremy Scahil

Investigative journalist

“The arrest of Julian Assange represents an extremely dangerous crossing of the rubicon. This is an assault on journalism and a free press. All journalists should stand in fierce opposition.” Source

Dr Suelette Dreyfus

Researcher. Writer. Civil Society Engineer

“The US wants to extradite him for ‘crimes of journalism’ – in other words, doing his job as a publisher and journalist in reporting accurate facts. They may be uncomfortable facts, but they have been proven to be accurate reportage – all of them – because he has also reported the supporting source documents.” Source

Edward Snowden

Whistleblower, President at Freedom of the Press Foundation

“The Department of Justice just declared war––not on Wikileaks, but on journalism itself. This is no longer about Julian Assange: This case will decide the future of media.” Source

Tor Ekeland

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act lawyer

“The Assange prosecution looks more like an attack on core political speech protected by the First Amendment than a proper exercise of prosecutorial discretion.”

“Assange and WikiLeaks are publishers just like The New York Times. And if it was legal for The New York Times to publish the classified Pentagon Papers detailing the US’ lies when it came to Vietnam, it’s legal for WikiLeaks to do the same.”

Mads Andenæs

Professor of Law at the University of Oslo, lawyer, a chair of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law

“Mr. Assange is in arbitrary detention and the UK and Sweden should abide by the UN ruling against them and take the steps that are necessary to bring his detention to an end.”

Maureen Baird

Former warden for U.S. Bureau of Prisons

“Suicides in prison often occur in solitary confinement and during pre-trial status. With the likelihood of Mr. Assange being housed in solitary confinement, he would be at greater risk for suicide and self-harm.”

Daniel Ellsberg

Whistleblower, Former United States military analyst

“The declaration of war came today. This is a historic day, and a very challenging one for American democracy.” Source
“The Beginning of the End for Press Freedom.” Source

Micòl Savia

Permanent Representative of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers to the United Nations in Geneva

“Attempts to prosecute Julian Assange on account of his publishing activities set a dangerous precedent against the freedom of the press throughout the world”

Clive Stafford Smith

Human rights lawyer, founder of Reprive

“US efforts to jail Assange for espionage are a grave threat to a free media” Source

Barton Gellman

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Staff writer at TheAtlantic, Author

“Assange is charged with asking for information, with receiving information, and with publishing information. And I don’t mind saying that those are exactly the things that I do.” Source

Alan Rusbridger

Journalist, Ex-editor, Guardian, Principal at LMH College at the University of Oxford

“The new indictment against Assange falls into three parts – each of them attempting to criminalise things journalists regularly do as they receive and publish true information given to them by sources or whistleblowers. Assange is accused of trying to persuade a source to disclose yet more secret information. ” Source

Thomas Drake

Former senior executive of the U.S. National Security Agency, Whistleblower

“US press routinely publishes ‘secret’ leaks. 1st time in US history gov’t indicts publisher for espionage. Pretext normalized w/ Obama Admin Espionage Act cases going after sources w/ press implicated in all. Sends Orwellian msg to ANY media as Trump sets fire to 1st Amendment.”

Ewen MacAskill

Former Guardian defence and security correspondent, Washington bureau chief, diplomatic editor and chief political reporter

“US did not waste any time putting in extradition request for Assange. Terrible precedent if journalist/publisher ends up in US jail for Iraq war logs and state department cables.”

Maria Fernanda Espinosa

President of the General Assembly of the United Nations

María Fernanda Espinosa hopes that Assange’s rights will be protected Source

Oliver Stone

Film director, screenwriter, film producer, author

“Julian Assange is a publisher for truth. He’s done great work on behalf of mankind despite his inhumane treatment. This case is crucial to the survival of our right to know and our essential freedom against USA and UK oppression — and now tyranny!”

Srećko Horvat

Philosopher, author, co-founder of DiEM25 and Progressive International

“10 years ago today WikiLeaks published the Collateral Murder video showing the indiscriminate murder of innocent civilians by US soldiers during the illegal war on Iraq. This is why Julian Assange is in prison, while the real criminals are still free.”

Rune Ottosen

Head of whistle blower committee of Norwegian PEN and Professor emeritus Oslo Metropolitan University

“Julian Assange has revealed war crimes and extradition and a potensial life in prison will be an attack on freedom of expression.”

Birgitta Jónsdóttir

Advisor in digital Democracy

“Assange must NEVER be extradited to the USA. It’s a serious threat to him personally and freedoms we usually honor, such as press freedom, freedom of expression and FOI.”

Mary Kostakidis

Australian  Journalist

“Stop the political persecution of a journalist, editor & publisher. We need Wikileaks – a free independent press protecting whistleblowers, an invaluable public archive & its courageous founder.”

Gabe Rottman

Director of the Reporters Committee’s Technology and Press Freedom Project

“A profoundly troubling legal theory, one rarely contemplated and never successfully deployed…to punish the pure act of publication of newsworthy government secrets under the nation’s spying laws.”

Jameel Jaffer

Executive Director of the Knight First Amendment Institute

“The indictment of Mr. Assange poses a grave threat to press freedom in the United States. This case is the first in which the U.S. government has relied on the 1917 Espionage Act as the basis for the prosecution of a publisher.”

Stefania Maurizi

Italian investigative journalist

“This case is about whether the press is allowed to publish documents like the video “Collateral Murder,” which records war crimes… to publish documents about the NSA spying on world leaders, whether the press is allowed to publish documents on Guantanamo Bay.”

Mark Feldstein

Journalism historian and professor, Ex reporter at CNN, NBC News, ABC News

“Julian Assange faces lifetime imprisonment for publishing truthful information about … abuse of power, precisely what the First Amendment was written to protect.”