Journalists, academics, call for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s release

Published December 30, 2020, 7:58 AM

by Minka Klaudia Tiangco

Some journalists and academics staged virtual and physical demonstrations outside the United States Embassy in Manila on Tuesday to call for the release of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

The demonstration was led by members of the National Press Club, Philippine-BRICS Strategic Studies, Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino, Labor Alliance, and Nationalist Filipinos Against Foreign Intervention.

(Screenshot from Philippine-BRICS Strategic Studies’ Facebook video / MANILA BULLETIN)

Assange is an Australian hacker who leaked confidential documents and images in Wikileaks showing alleged war crimes by the United States military in other countries.

He was arrested by the British police in April 2019 after the Ecuadorean government withdrew his asylum status. Assange is now fighting extradition to the US where he believes he will be put on trial for releasing the said confidential documents and media.

In a statement, the protesters called for an end to the hacker’s “inhumane persecution” and for the public to support the movement for his freedom.

“Julian Assange is a martyr who has already paid with over 10 years of his life, and a hero to peoples of the World,” the groups’ statement read.

“The whole world and the media should not just stand silent on the injustice and intended imprisonment, and removal of human rights of Julian Assange for several lifetimes by the Western Alliance, for exposing with evidence blatant atrocities, which exposures have led to reduction of these activities and clarity to politicians who refused to believe these were being done systemically and as policy by the US and its key allies,” it added.