Sponsored by China Society for Human Rights Studies

Closure for Assange, but not for human rights violations by US

2024-06-27 10:34:25Source: Beijing News
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange disembarks from a plane at Bangkok Don Mueang International Airport in Thailand, in this screengrab from a video released to social media on Tuesday. WIKILEAKS VIA X / VIA REUTERS

June 27, 2024 -- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange left a British prison on Monday after 1,901 days following a tentative deal with the United States Justice Department in which he agreed to plead guilty to a single felony count of violating the Espionage Act in exchange for time served.


Since it was founded in 2006, Wiki-Leaks has released hundreds of thousands of classified documents about the US' wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, exposing the torture of prisoners, human rights abuses and the killing of civilians. It was one of the biggest ever leaks that brought shame to the United States, the self-proclaimed guardian of human rights in the world. The revelations made the world see clearly the hypocrisy and true nature of the so-called guardian of human rights.


The US government says the leaks of classified military documents by Wiki-Leaks were reckless, damaging US' national security and endangering the lives of intelligence workers while Assange's supporters claim he has spent years in prison because he exposed atrocities committed by the US.


Since his arrest, people and organizations from around the world had called for Assange's release. Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was lobbying with the US government to drop the charges against Assange, and a group of 60 Australian lawmakers sent a signed letter to the US government calling for an end to the case against Assange. In February, a motion in Australia's Federal House of Representatives calling on the US and Britain to "let Assange come home" was supported by 86 of 151 lawmakers.


Obviously, the deal with Assange is a way for the US to save its lost face amid mounting international pressure, from the Australian government in particular, to free him.


The deal seems to have brought closure to the Assange case. However, the human rights problems that WikiLeaks revealed are far from solved, and US surveillance of foreign and domestic citizens is only the tip of the iceberg of its human rights problems, which will continue.