After seven years, the Ecuadorian government has withdrawn Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s asylum status, and he has now been taken into custody at a central London police station.
The Washington Post reports that the arrest is on behalf of the United States, who submitted an extradition request in connection with the 2010 disclosure of classified information — including information that detailed criminal acts committed by the United States military — that was provided to the site by former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.
Isa Soares was outside the Westminster Magistrate’s Court where Assange’s hearing is taking place.
Meanwhile, protestors showed their support for Assange, who they say is being targeted for political reasons.
That sentiment is shared by Wikileaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson, who told CNN that Assange is not guilty of any crime.
As for Manning, she’s currently behind bars for refusing to testify before a grand jury about the 2010 disclosure, for which she already faced court-martial in 2013, and for which former president Barack Obama granted her clemency, commuting her sentence in January of 2017. According to The Guardian, Obama said at the time that he was “comfortable that justice has been served.”
Today, federal prosecutors claim that there’s more Manning knows than she’s previously told them. They say that because Manning has been granted immunity from further prosecution, she has no right to avoid self-incrimination.
Manning’s lawyers say there’s no reason to question her any further, and that the subpoena — which they’re appealing, along with her imprisonment for refusing it — is an abuse of the grand jury process.
They claim that the government has been illegally surveilling her, something that the Washington Post says the government has not explicitly denied.