The Australian-born whistle-blower is dealing with espionage and hacking charges in the US, encountering up to 175 years in prison.

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On January 4, a brothers court blocked a United claims request come extradite WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

The US has charged him v hacking government computers and also espionage after the obtained and also published numerous thousands of divide documents between 2010 and 2011.

District referee Vanessa Baraister said extradition would be “oppressive” taking into account Assange’s psychological health, saying he was at danger of suicide.

Assange was arrested in April 2019 through UK police indigenous the embassy that Ecuador in London, wherein he had been granted asylum due to the fact that 2012.

Here is what you must know:

Who is Julian Assange?

Assange is an Australian-born computer programmer and also founder the WikiLeaks – an international, non-profit whistle-blowing organisation that was created in Iceland in 2006.

The 49-year-old, a father, is WikiLeaks’ publisher and former editor-in-chief. In 2018, Icelandic reporter Kristinn Hrafnsson take it over together editor.

Assange pertained to prominence in mid-2010 after ~ WikiLeaks released US army logs from Afghanistan and Iraq, and also US cable leaks in November the year.

Former US army personnel Chelsea Manning sent out the information to Assange.

Manning was charged and also sentenced come 35 year imprisonment in 2013 for violating the Espionage action of 1917, and also other offences.

The Espionage Act was passed come deter any interference in US military operations and prevent individuals and also groups indigenous supporting adversaries of the unified States.

Manning’s sentence was commuted in January 2017, days before then-US president Barack Obama left office.

What walk WikiLeaks reveal?

WikiLeaks shot come fame in April 2010 after the website exit a 39-minute video clip of a US military Apache helicopter shooting over and killing more than a dozen Iraqis, including two Reuters journalists.

The clip leaked by personal Manning led to worldwide outrage, reigniting a dispute over the US’s occupation that Iraq and wider presence in the middle East.

In July the year, WikiLeaks, together with several media outlets, such as the new York Times, published an ext than 90,000 us military documents related to the battle in Afghanistan.

These consisted of previously unreported details around civilian deaths, friendly-fire casualties, us air raids, al-Qaeda’s role in the country, and also nations offering support come Afghan leaders and also the Taliban.

Former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning

Months later, WikiLeaks released 391,832 records related to the Iraq War. The reports, likewise referred to together The Iraq war Logs, provided on the ground details together reported by united state troops, dating from January 2014 to December 2019.

The leaks were the solitary largest in US army history, exposing vast civilian casualties.

In November 2010, WikiLeaks published thousands of thousands of united state diplomatic cables, in what is now far better known together the Cablegate scandal.

Some 250,000 reports were released, dating ago to 1996 up until February 2010. The cables detailed analysis and insights from an ext than 270 us embassies and consulates from about the world.

What is Assange fee with?

After Assange was arrested, a cool jury in the state the Virginia charged him with one counting of computer intrusion/hacking for allegedly assisting personal Manning in accessing share documents.

In might 2019, Assange was more charged – under the us Espionage action of 1917 – ~ above 17 counts because that soliciting, gathering and also publishing united state military and diplomatic documents in 2010, all noted by Manning.

Assange is the first publisher come be charged under the act.

The leaks highlighted in the indictment incorporate the us diplomatic cables, details on Guantanamo Bay prison detainees and also Iraq and Afghanistan activity reports.

Assange is checked out in a police van after his arrest by brother police at the Ecuadorian embassy in London

What could happen come Assange?

The US federal government has said it will certainly appeal the british court’s January 4 decision, through some expecting the attempt to go all the means up to the UK supreme Court.

If Assange is extradited to the US and charged under the Espionage Act, he could challenge up come 175 year in jail. Top top the much less serious charge of computer intrusion, the WikiLeaks founder would receive a preferably of five years.

Extradition in between the UK and also the us is rare.

In 2012, a inquiry from the us to extradite UK hacker Gary Mackinnon for hacking right into US armed forces databases was rejected. Similarly, the us refused a request from the UK previously this year come hand end Anna Sachoolas, the wife of a US intelligence officer accused of killing a brothers citizen as result of dangerous driving.

What occurred to the sexual assault charges against him in Sweden?

The us indictment against Assange does no include any charges of rape, of i beg your pardon he to be accused the by two Swedish females in 2010. Assange has actually repeatedly refuse the accusations.

A sweden court issued an international warrant for his arrest in 2010 for this reason he might be extradited ago to the nordic country. After being released on bail in the UK, Assange was granted asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in June 2012 by then-President Rafael Correa, where he resided for practically seven years.

On November 19, 2019, all rape charges versus Assange were dropped.

Why is this instance important?

While pendant of the Wikileaks publisher have actually welcomed the UK court’s decision, numerous have expressed caution – noting the the case was not chose on the grounds of press freedom.

According to rights groups, Assange’s possible extradition and sentencing in the united state would it is in a serious threat to free-speech rights and also to the work-related of investigative journalists approximately the world.

Amnesty International has actually said the effect of Assange being convicted top top investigative journalists, publishers and also anyone who publishes classified federal government material would certainly be “immediate and severe”.

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US lawyers argue the charges versus Assange can be challenged under the US’s very first Amendment law, which protects the best to flexibility of speech and also expression.

Assange supporters organize placards exterior the main Criminal Court front of a hear to decide whether Assange need to be extradited come the US, in London, UK