Julian Paul Assange was born Julian Paul Hawkins; 3 July 1971) is an Australian computer programmer who is the Editor of WikiLeaks. He was a grantee of political asylum and subject to a British arrest warrant for breaching bail conditions. Assange founded WikiLeaks in 2006 and came to international attention in 2010 when WikiLeaks published a series of leaks provided by Chelsea Manning.
These leaks included the Collateral Murder video (April 2010), the Afghanistan war logs (July 2010), the Iraq war logs (October 2010), and CableGate (November 2010). Following the 2010 leaks, the Federal Government of the United States launched a criminal investigation into WikiLeaks and asked allied nations for assistance.
In November 2010, Sweden issued an international arrest warrant for Assange. He had been questioned there months earlier over allegations of sexual assault and rape. Assange denied the allegations and said that he would be extradited from Sweden to the United States because of his role in publishing secret American documents.
Assange surrendered to the United Kingdom police on 7 December 2010 but was released on bail within 10 days. Having been unsuccessful in his challenge to the extradition proceedings, he breached his bail and absconded.
He was granted asylum by Ecuador in August 2012 and remained in the Embassy of Ecuador in London until his arrest in April 2019. Assange has held Ecuadorian citizenship since 12 December 2017.
During the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primaries, WikiLeaks hosted emails sent or received by candidate Hillary Clinton from her private email server when she was Secretary of State. After the Democratic Party, along with cyber security experts, claimed that Russian intelligence had hacked Clinton campaign-related e-mails and leaked them to WikiLeaks, Assange said Clinton was causing “hysteria about Russia”. He consistently denied any connection to or cooperation with Russia in relation to the leaks.
On May 19, 2017, the Swedish prosecutors dropped their investigation into the rape accusation against Assange and applied to revoke the European arrest warrant. The London Metropolitan Police indicated that an arrest warrant was in force for Assange’s failure to surrender himself to his bail.
On July 27, 2018, Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno said that he had begun talks with British authorities to withdraw the asylum for Assange. In December, Assange turned down an offer that would have allowed him to leave the embassy with the guarantee that the UK would not extradite him to any country where he could face the death penalty.
On 11 April 2019, Assange was arrested by the Metropolitan Police Service inside the Ecuadorian embassy after the police were invited in by the Ambassador of Ecuador to the United Kingdom. Assange had been living in the embassy for 2,487 days. Assange has been further arrested on behalf of the United States authorities.
Honours and awards
- 2008, The EconomistNew Media Award
- 2009, Amnesty International UK Media Awards
- 2010, TIME Person of the Year, Reader’s Choice
- 2010, Sam Adams Award
- 2010, Le Monde Readers’ Choice Award for Person of the Year
- 2011, Free Dacia Award
- 2011, Sydney Peace FoundationGold Medal
- 2011, Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism
- 2011, Voltaire Award for Free Speech
- 2012, Big Brother AwardsHero of Privacy
- 2013, Global Exchange Human Rights Award, People’s Choice
- 2013, Yoko Ono LennonCourage Award for the Arts
- 2013, New York Festivals World’s Best TV & Films Silver World Medal
- 2014, Union of Journalists in Kazakhstan Top Prize
Culled from Wikipedia