25 June 2019 — Defend Wikileaks
WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange has been granted the 2019 Danny Schechter Global Vision Award for Journalism & Activism by not-for-profit educational foundation The Global Center. As a press release announcing the award explains, The DANNY is “awarded annually to an individual who best emulates Schechter’s practice of combining excellent journalism with social advocacy and activism.”
The DANNY Award announcement warns, ”The Assange case represents a threat not only to freedom of expression but also to the heart of American democracy itself.”
Assange was arrested on 11 April 2019 in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London after Ecuador unlawfully revoked his asylum and invited British police into the Embassy. On 23 May, a superseding indictment charged Assange with 17 counts under the Espionage Act for publishing US war and diplomatic secrets in 2010 — the first such charges for a publisher.
An extradition hearing for Assange, who entered the Embassy in 2012 for fear of US persecution, is scheduled for February 2020, in London.
As the announcement explains,
The charges against Assange make the ultimate targets of his prosecution clear: journalists worldwide. Prosecutors are using the case against him to mask a blatantly political campaign to limit all journalists-a cornerstone of the Trump agenda often expressed by the president himself. The charges describe the routine practices of investigative and national-security journalists-and would effectively criminalize a wide range of reporting practices. So the stakes for both Assange and the rest of the news media have dramatically increased, raising questions about the limits of the First Amendment and protections for publishers of classified information.
After leaving the restrictive corporate media sector, journalist Daniel Schechter partnered with Globalvision to produce investigative programming on human rights abuses around the world. Schechter passed away in 2015, and the DANNY Award was established to honor his work.
The award includes a a $3,000 stipend, which will be donated to Julian Assange’s defense.