Julian Assange: Finally, but

Press release of 25. June 2024

Julian Assange: Finally, but

Finally – Julian Assange, the longest serving political prisoner in the Western world, is free and on his way home to Australia. PEN Berlin welcomes the release of its honorary member with great relief. After 14 years of injustice, the decision by the US Justice Department to return to the proper treatment of whistleblowers was years overdue; the persecution of the journalist and Wikileaks founder, with the dubious support of Sweden and the UK, resembled a modern-day witch hunt.

While we welcome the good news and understand Assange’s decision to make this deal with the US authorities, we should not forget that 14 years of a man’s life have been stolen from him, while those responsible for war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq have never even been charged. The fact that, after all these years of overzealous prosecution, a deal had to be struck to allow the US to „save face“ does not bode well for the state of press freedom in the Western world.

PEN Berlin – We stand by our word

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