Julian Assange founded Wikileaks in 2006 as an highly innovative journalism project that stays truer than most to the un-biased, watchdog rules of journalism ethics – no matter how much so many poser journalists disagree.
In 2010 Wikileaks published several leaks revealing the war crimes and horrible international offenses made by the United States army and government starting with the Collateral Murder video.
After these revelations the hard oppression began against Assange and Wikileaks and from 2012 and for roughly seven years Assange remained in political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Today Julian Assange is being kept in the HM Prison Belmarsh in London. The United States government is fiercely trying to extradite him to the U.S. where he would most likely be imprisoned for the rest of his life. For his journalist work.
Veteran protest music singer David Rovics tried to visit Assange on while on tour in England recently but as he told me the Belmarsh makes that harder than other prisons in the country: “You need a visitor order to visit prisoners at Belmarsh, unlike other prisons in England, where you just need to show up during visiting hours.”
When I asked David what message he has for the UK and US governments he said: “I’m not sure what message I have for these governments, because they are not interested in anything people like me have to say.
They know what they’re doing. They’re trying to hide the truth, that these governments are run by war criminals, imperialists, bankers stealing our collective wealth and leaving most of us in poverty. It’s completely intentional.
My message is for those who might actually be listening, among the populations of the US, the UK, and elsewhere. It is up to us, the task of changing our corrupt systems. And we do have the power, if we organize collectively on a massive scale and exercise it. If we don’t, no one else will.”
For six consecutive years Wikileaks has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and won a great deal of awards for its journalist work.
It is the responsibility of the journalist to let citizens know if the people in power are misusing their powers. No one can argue against that. That, and only that, is what Julian Assange and Wikileaks have consistently done.
If Assange gets extradited to and imprisoned in the U.S. precedent will have been set and every single honest journalist on this planet will be in danger.
Halldór is the managing editor of Shouts – Music from the Rooftops!, an investigative journalist, audio engineer and an animal rights activist on a nomad journey through Europe – still without a definite destination.