Julian Assange

1971 -

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Julian Paul Assange ( ə-SAHNZH; né Hawkins; born 3 July 1971) is an Australian editor, publisher, and activist who founded WikiLeaks in 2006. He came to wide international attention in 2010 when WikiLeaks published a series of leaks from US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning: footage of an airstrike in Baghdad, military logs from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and US diplomatic cables. Assange was raised in several towns in Australia until his family settled in Melbourne in his mid-teens. He became involved in the hacker community and was convicted for hacking in 1996. Following the establishment of WikiLeaks, Assange was its editor when it published the Bank Julius Baer documents, footage of the 2008 Tibetan unrest, and a report on political killings in Kenya with The Sunday Times. In November 2010, Sweden issued a European arrest warrant for Assange, for questioning in an ongoing investigation. After losing his appeal against the warrant, he breached bail and took refuge in the Embassy of Ecuador in London in June 2012. He was granted asylum by Ecuador in August 2012 on the grounds of political persecution and fears he might be extradited to the United States. Swedish prosecutors closed the investigation in 2019.On 11 April 2019, Assange's asylum was withdrawn following a series of disputes with Ecuadorian authorities. The police were invited into the embassy and he was arrested. He was found guilty of breaching the Bail Act and sentenced to 50 weeks in prison. The U.S. government unsealed an indictment charging Assange with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion related to the leaks provided by Manning. In May 2019 and June 2020, the U.S. government unsealed new indictments against Assange, charging him with violating the Espionage Act of 1917 and alleging he had conspired with hackers.Assange has been confined in HM Prison Belmarsh in London since April 2019, as the United States government's extradition effort is contested in the British courts. Source: Wikipedia (en)

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