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Julian Assange by his father John Shipton


Saturday 21 March 2020, by siawi3


Julian Assange by his father John Shipton

[( “If you want peace, be prepared to fight.”
— John Shipton


Location: London
Date: Tuesday, 10th March 2020

Listen here 1:14:09

In 2010 WikiLeaks gained global recognition when Chelsea Manning, a US Army Soldier, turned whistleblower, released numerous documents via WikiLeaks including the now infamous Collateral Murder. Collateral Murder showed a team of two US AH-64 Apache helicopters firing upon and killing several men including civilians, two of whom were war correspondents working for Reuters.

WikiLeaks was founded in 2006 by Julian Assange and specialises in publishing leaked materials. In Assange’s own words: “WikiLeaks is a giant library of the world’s most persecuted documents. We give asylum to these documents, we analyse them, we promote them, and we obtain more.”

In 2010 Sweden released an arrest warrant for Assange that alleged two cases of sexual assault. Assange feared that extradition to Sweden, may, in turn, lead to extradition to the US where he believed he could face prosecution for WikiLeaks’ publication of the secret US government files.

Following a hearing and subsequent legal battle, the UK courts ruled that Assange should be extradited to Sweden to face trial.

To prevent extradition, in August 2012, Assange entered the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he was granted political asylum. He remained there until his arrest in April 2019.

Swedish prosecutors have discontinued the investigation into the alleged sexual assault in 2010. However, Assange may still be extradited to the US, where he faces 18 charges of attempted hacking and breaches of the Espionage Act with a possible sentence of 170 years. Since early 2019 Assange has been imprisoned awaiting trial and extradition to the US. The case is in the hands of the UK courts and will, likely, be decided in May 2020.

Throughout the nearly seven years inside the Ecuadorian Embassy and the past year that Assange has been imprisoned, there have been several concerns raised over both his physical and mental health and the potential violations of Julian’s human rights.

In this interview, I talk to John Shipton, Julian’s father, an anti-war activist who has been campaigning to drop the extradition charge and see his son freed. We discuss John & Julian’s relationship, Julian’s ongoing case and the impact of WikiLeaks.