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DW: Julian Assange and WikiLeaks — story of a whistleblower

06/07/2021

July 03,2021

The decision not to extradite Julian Assange to the US is unlikely to be the end of his struggle. For the past 10 years, a team of reporters has followed Assange and the WikiLeaks network.

In their first film in 2011, they portrayed Julian Assange and his team as transparency activists, fighting for a new, open relationship between citizens and information. Since then, Wikileaks has come under constant pressure from the US government. But the site nevertheless continued to publish secret and explosive information that has both illuminated and shaped our world.

In 2013, the team met Julian Assange again, interviewing him in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. At the time, Assange had no idea that he was going to spend the next seven years in these rooms, observed by surveillance cameras.

In 2016, Wikileaks played a crucial role in the election of US President Donald Trump. In 2017, it tried to similarly influence the French election. Throughout the years, the reporters have kept filming, talking to Julian Assange’s father, who regularly visits him in London’s Belmarsh prison, as well as to his lawyers.

Today, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are at a turning point in their history. To his detractors, Assange is a spy and a traitor, and deserves his fate. His supporters say the US extradition request is a serious and unprecedented attack on the freedom of information, protected by the US constitution. And who’s to say that the news outlets that have collaborated with WikiLeaks won’t be prosecuted, as well?

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