Father of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange calls for espionage charges to be dropped

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The family of Julian Assange defended the WikiLeaks founder as an unfairly imprisoned journalist while opening up about their ongoing efforts to raise awareness about the case and the subsequent impacts it could have on the free press.

Assange is wanted in the United States on charges related to WikiLeaks’ publication of thousands of classified documents back in 2010 and 2011. They primarily pertained to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which Assange argued exposed wrongdoing by the U.S.

He’s been behind bars at Britain’s high-security Belmarsh Prison in London since 2019, when he was arrested for skipping bail related to a separate legal battle. And before that, he camped out inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for seven years.

In June, a judge approved his extradition to the United States, where he’s expected to be tried for spying under the Espionage Act. He has since appealed.

John Shipton, Assange’s father, said they are no closer to securing his freedom, but that the support from around the world continues to grow.

“We have a rising tide worldwide of support,” Shipton said during an appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight.

“I think if they would relook at this case and realize that they are prosecuting someone for doing what journalists do every day — publish — or what they should be doing — publishing without fear or favor — then they would realize that this prosecution needs to come to an end,” he continued.

“They should listen to ... human rights groups, free press groups and First Amendment advocates who are all calling for this prosecution to be dropped because of the threat that it poses to the First Amendment in the USA.”