Overview: USA vs Assange

29 July 2020 — Defend Wikileaks

Julian Assange faces extradition from the United Kingdom to the United States, where he has been indicted on 18 counts for obtaining, possessing, conspiring to publish and for publishing classified information. The indictment contains 17 counts under the Espionage Act of 1917 and one charge of conspiring with a source to violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which uses Espionage Act language. This is the first ever use of such charges for the publication of truthful information in the public interest, and it represents a gravely dangerous attempt to criminalise journalist-source communications and the publication by journalists of classified information.

Here are key resources to learn more about the background and details of the case, from close readings of the U.S. indictment to the implications for press freedom to courtroom reports from the legal proceedings thus far. Click a link at left to jump to a section below.



In 2011, the Sydney Peace Foundation awarded Julian Assange the Gold Medal for Human Rights


  • A record of some of Wikileaks’ key document releases and some aspects of Julian Assange’s persecution
  • See a full list of WikiLeaks’ releases here

Julian Assange

  • Overview: in the Ecuadorian embassy, political asylum, Swedish allegations, arbitrary detention
  • Threats to WikiLeaks before Assange’s arrest
  • Prison updates: 2019 reports on Assange’s prison conditions

Assange & Ecuador


  • An ongoing recap of daily political, legal and other developments in Assange’s situation

Press Freedom

Press freedom and human rights organisations condemn Julian Assange’s arrest

Media analysis of Julian Assange’s superseding indictment

  • Note: these analyses look at the first superseding indictment against Assange, issued May 23, 2019, expanding the charges from the initial count of conspiracy to commit computer crime to include 17 charges under the Espionage Act. Another superseding indictment was issued on June 24, 2019, which largely expands the scope of the computer crime count but adds no new charges, so the issues discussed in these analyses remain relevant.

Newsrooms, politicians oppose Julian Assange’s indictment and extradition

  • Top Newsrooms Condemn Julian Assange Indictment – PDF
  • US Politicians and Presidential Candidates Oppose Julian Assange’s Indictment – PDF
  • Free Press Groups Condemn Julian Assange’s Indictment – PDF
  • UK/EU Politicians Speak Out Against Julian Assange’s Indictment & Extradition – PDF


Extradition Hearing

Courtroom Reports

  • The Courage Foundation’s daily coverage of Julian Assange’s extradition hearing at Belmarsh Crown Court in London. The first week of proceedings took place in February 2020. A remaining three weeks of extradition hearings are scheduled to resume September 7, 2020, at the Old Bailey.

Get involved & learn more

  • Take action: various ways to help defend WikiLeaks, from challenging false reporting to signing petitions and donating to the legal defense fund
  • Don’t Extradite Assange: the U.K. campaign against the extradition of Julian Assange, which organises panel events, demonstrations, videos on the case and more
  • D.E.A. email campaign: write to your MP to help release Julian Assange from Belmarsh prison before Coronavirus spreads
  • We Are Millions: a massive photo campaign to demonstrate global support for WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.
  • Donate: Your contributions to the WikiLeaks Defence Fund helps to support a dedicated campaign team which advocates across the world, especially in global media, to build support for WikiLeaks and the public’s right to know.
  • Upcoming Events: panels, demonstrations, rallies
  • Upcoming hearings: check Don’t Extradite Assange’s website for information about forthcoming legal proceedings

Social media

More resources

  • Video recaps and links from the Courage Foundation’s public events
  • Briefings and Factsheets: Political briefings, legal documents, major WikiLeaks revelations, U.N. rulings, and more
  • Book: In Defense of Julian Assange, edited by Tariq Ali and Margaret Kunstler, an essay compilation from a wide-range of renowned contributors, setting out the story of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, the importance of their work, and the dangers for us all in the persecution they face

The Courage Foundation, which runs this support site, is an international organisation that supports those who risk life or liberty to make significant contributions to the historical record. We fundraise for the legal and public defence of specific individuals who fit these criteria and are subject to serious prosecution or persecution. We also campaign for the protection of truthtellers and the public’s right to know generally.

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