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International Relations

Julian Assange Arrested

Julian Assange Arrested


  • GS 2 || International Relations || India & Rest of the World || USA

Why in news ?

  • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was convicted by a London court of breaking bail terms of 2012.

What is the case all about?

  • Julian Assange is the head of the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
  • Assange made international headlines in early 2010 when WikiLeaks published a classified U.S. military video.
  • It showed a 2007 attack by Apache helicopters in Baghdad that killed a dozen people, including two Reuters news staff.
  • Assange was facing charges related to theft of classified information from government computers, conspiring with former U.S. Army intelligence officer Chelsea Manning.
  • In 2012, authorities from Sweden wanted to question him as part of a sexual assault investigation.
  • To avoid being extradited to Sweden, Mr. Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy in June 2012.
  • Sweden dropped that investigation in 2017, but Mr. Assange broke the rules of his original bail (2012) in London.
  • Eventually, he had eluded authorities in the U.S. and the U.K. for nearly 7 years, to escape arrest.

  • Now, Ecuador President Lenin Moreno withdrew his country’s grant of asylum to Mr. Assange that was on for 7 years.
  • Ecuador had earlier limited Mr. Assange’s Internet access.
  • Asylum was withdrawn after repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life protocols by Assange.
  • Assange was thus arrested by British police and carried out of the Ecuadorean embassy, paving the way for his possible extradition to the U.S.

Why is the arrest disputed?

  • His arrest has renewed a global debate on balancing between freedom of expression (or the right to information) and national security concerns.

What is wikileaks known for?

  • An international non-profit organisation that publishes secret information, news leaks, and classified media provided by anonymous sources.
  • In April 2010, WikiLeaks released the Collateral Murder footage from the 12 July 2007 Baghdad airstrike in which Iraqi journalists were among those killed.
  • Other releases in 2010 included the Afghan War Diary and the “Iraq War Logs”.
  • In 2016, WikiLeaks published emails that purportedly came from campaign staffers for US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, as well as the text of paid speeches she made to employees of Goldman Sachs.

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