Imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange has been awarded Consortium News‘ 2020 Gary Webb Freedom of the Press Award for courage in the face of an unprecedented attack on press freedom.
By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News
Julian Assange, the imprisoned and maligned publisher of WikiLeaks, has been awarded the 2020 Gary Webb Freedom of the Press Award by the board of the Consortium for Independent Journalism, publishers of Consortium News.
Assange is incarcerated in a maximum security prison in London awaiting a hearing later this month on an extradition request by the United States. He has been charged 0n 17 counts under the U.S. Espionage Act of possessing and publishing classified material that revealed prima facie evidence of U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.
For practicing the highest order of journalism–revealing crimes of the state–Assange faces 175 years in a U.S. prison–a life sentence for the 48-year old Australian.
Assange, whose life has been endangered in harsh prison conditions, has become an international symbol of the threat to press freedom. He is the first journalist to be charged under the Espionage Act for possession and dissemination of state secrets….