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Assange Should Have Never Been Forced to Accept Trumped-Up Charge – CODEPINK

 / Go to the mediabankA supporter of Julian Assange holds a placard as she stands outside Westminster Magistrates Court / Go to the mediabank

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a “giant of journalistic integrity” who should have never been forced to accept a trumped-up charge under the US Espionage Act in exchange for freedom, co-founder of the peace group CODEPINK Medea Benjamin told Sputnik.”While Julian pleads guilty to espionage, a trumped-up charge he should never have been forced to accept, we uphold him as a giant of journalistic integrity,” Benjamin said. On Monday, WikiLeaks said that Assange had been released from prison in the United Kingdom and departed the country. Court documents revealed that he is expected to plead guilty to US espionage charges as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors. The trial will be held on Wednesday on Saipan island at the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, a self-governing commonwealth of the United States. Benjamin pointed out that she and her organization, CODEPINK, are thrilled at the news that Assange is regaining his freedom after the 14-year torturous ordeal. “Without Julian Assange’s critical journalism, the world would know a lot less about war crimes committed by the United States and its allies,” Benjamin said.

"He is the reason so many anti-war organizations in the United States like ours have the proof we need to fight against wars and militarism. We celebrate Julian’s release and commend his brave journalism."

Assange, an Australian citizen, was transferred to London’s high-security Belmarsh prison in April 2019 on bail breach charges. In the US, he faced prosecution under the Espionage Act for obtaining and disclosing classified information that shed light on war crimes and human rights violations committed by US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

AnalysisJulian Assange’s Extradition Battle: Tenuous Path to Justice23 May, 05:07 GMT

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