Frequently asked questions
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What is Assange charged with?
The U.S. has charged Assange with publishing classified documents exposing war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and torture at Guantanamo Bay.
Did anyone get hurt as a result of the publications?
The US prosecution says they have found no evidence that anyone has come to any harm as a result of these publications. New Zealand investigative journalist Nicky Hager said he witnessed Assange take 'extraordinary precautions' to redact names and ensure no one came to harm.More: Nicky Hager gives evidence for Julian Assange at extradition hearing - stuff
Is Assange a journalist?
This question has been raised with the intention to divert our concern. The answer is not important. The US prosecution seeks to criminalise anyone publishing secret documents exposing evidence of their state crimes. This is what Assange did. This is what good journalists do.
Assange is an accredited journalist and has won numerous awards for journalism. If he is not a journalist he is certainly a publisher.More: 1300 Journalists Speak Up For Assange
Is Assange a hacker?
The US does not accuse Assange of hacking to obtain any of the information he published. The files were supplied by a whistle-blower (allegedly Chelsea Manning) who had security clearance to access the files. The one charge of 'computer intrusion' has been tied to an alleged failed attempt to help a source protect their identity. Protecting a source's identity is what a good journalist does.More: Nils Melzer, UN - Demasking the Torture of Julian Assange
Was he charged with an offence in Sweden?
Evidence provided by the UN shows the US asked it's allies to 'inundate' Assange with charges and destroy his support base. Shortly after this, Swedish authorities constructed and re-edited a statement both without the consent of the woman. They then illegally leaked a story to the press. The woman herself said she was shocked by the allegations and said that the police 'just wanted to get their hands on him'.
The Swedish authorities were never concerned with justice for women. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) found that Assange bent over backwards to cooperate with the investigation and it was the Swedish authorities who denied justice to all concerned for nearly seven years. Assange was never charged, and they refused to take a statement from him meaning he could not defend himself. This abuse of process was about destroying support for Assange and trying to extradite him to the US.
The UNWGAD found that this abuse of process amounted to 'arbitrary detention'. The UN Rapporteur on Torture found that it was deliberate 'psychological torture'. Swedish authorities closed the investigation once it was no longer needed to obtain Assange. This forms no part of the charges against Assange now, which threaten our right to call truth to power, and prevent wars - both of which pose a dire threat to safety from sexual violence.