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News > Latin America

WikiLeaks Celebrates 12th Anniversary

  • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London. | Photo: Reuters

Published 4 October 2018

'Whistleblower' organization still going strong while founder sits in limbo in the Ecuadorean embassy in the U.K. 

Julian Assange sits in an embassy in London, England waiting — hoping — for something. For what exactly, remains unclear. Indeed, the last six years of his life have been shrouded in uncertainty. 

Julian Assange Forced To Name Replacement at WikiLeaks

Granted political asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy in the U.K. in an attempt to prevent extradition to the U.S., and subsequent trial for publishing secret U.S. military documents, Assange is devoid of medical care, access to family and friends, and cyber-communication to the outside world. His attorney Jennifer Robinson claims the Wikileaks founder's health is in serious jeopardy due to lack of access to natural light and fresh air.

It was all different 12 years ago today, when Wikileaks first shocked the world by revealing secret documents ranging from planned assassination attempts on government officials, to uncensored footage of global unrest that had previously been censored to prevent mainstream backlash. 

Launched on Oct. 4, 2006, the non-profit organization, led by co-founder Assange, posted these revelations in a manner akin to Wikipedia, and immediately faced the wrath of government officials. 

It wasn't until 2010 when the U.S. government decided to launch an internal inquiry into the organization, at around the same time Assange was issued an arrest warrant in Sweden over allegations of sexual assault. The Australian citizen subseqently surrendered himself in the U.K. and took refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy thanks to outgoing President Rafael Correa, who expressed sympathy for Assange's potential threat from the U.S.

With current U.S. President Donald Trump claiming any release of information from Wikileaks should result in the death penalty, Assange is wise to stay camped in the sanctuary of the embassy — even if it means his current outlook isn't promising. 

Assange was ousted as editor-in-chief of Wikileaks in late-September, replaced by Kristin Haffnsson; and while the organization continues to go strong — the latest revelations disclose documents containing the personal information of ICE (US Immigration and and Customs Information) employees — one has to wonder if this is, indeed, a day to celebrate for Wikileaks' followers. It's safe to say Assange may be asking that same question right now. 

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