Julian Assange released from UK prison: Here's how world leaders, journalism bodies & his family reacted - Hindustan Times
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Julian Assange released from UK prison: Here's how world leaders, journalism bodies & his family reacted

Reuters | | Posted by Shweta Kukreti
Jun 25, 2024 07:33 PM IST

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is due to plead guilty on Wednesday to violating U.S. espionage law.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is due to plead guilty on Wednesday to violating U.S. espionage law, in a deal that will set him free after a 14-year British legal odyssey and allow him to return home to Australia.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange disembarks from a plane at Bangkok Don Mueang International Airport, (Wikileaks via X via REUTERS)
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange disembarks from a plane at Bangkok Don Mueang International Airport, (Wikileaks via X via REUTERS)

Here are some reactions to the news:

STELLA ASSANGE, ASSANGE'S WIFE

"I feel elated... I also feel worried ... Until it's fully signed off, I worry, but it looks like we've got there ... We will be seeking a pardon, obviously, but the fact that there is a guilty plea, under the Espionage Act, in relation to obtaining and disclosing national defence information is obviously a very serious concern for journalists."

AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER ANTHONY ALBANESE

"Regardless of the views that people have about Mr. Assange (and) his activities, the case has dragged on for too long. There is nothing to be gained by his continued incarceration and we want him brought home to Australia."

BRAZILIAN PRESIDENT LUIZ INACIO LULA DA SILVA

"Today the world is a little better and less unfair. Julian Assange is free after 1,901 days in prison. His release and return home, albeit belatedly, represent a victory for democracy and the fight for press freedom."

GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER ANNALENA BAERBOCK

"I can only say that I am very happy that this case, which was discussed very emotionally all over the world and moved many people, has finally found a solution."

ALAN RUSBRIDGER, FORMER EDITOR OF BRITAIN'S GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER

"I'm sorry that it's taken a plea on a charge of espionage because I don't think actually anybody thinks that what he was doing was espionage... I think if the attempt was to chill national security reporting, I fear it's probably worked."

JODIE GINSBERG, COMMITTEE TO PROTECT JOURNALISTS CEO

"Julian Assange faced a prosecution that had grave implications for journalists and press freedom worldwide. While we welcome the end of his detention, the U.S.'s pursuit of Assange has set a harmful legal precedent by opening the way for journalists to be tried under the Espionage Act if they receive classified material from whistleblowers. This should never have been the case."

GIUSEPPE CONTE, LEADER OF ITALY'S 5-STAR MOVEMENT AND FORMER PRIME MINISTER

"It's a victory for a global community that asked for his liberation, convinced that in his battle and in his resistance lay the essence of the most profound freedom of expression and the sacrosanct right to information."

GABRIEL SHIPTON, ASSANGE'S BROTHER

"The Australian government has played a significant role in these last moments. They have played an integral role securing his release and getting him on that plane. But they couldn't have done that without the support of the Australian people. We are very thankful for the Australian people and everyone around the world who has been advocating for Julian."

 

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