Washington, D.C. May 24th 2019 – Fundamedios expresses its concern over the decision made by the Justice Department of the United States to increase the charges against WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, to 17 new charges that include espionage. This action is a threat to investigative journalism, all journalists and publishers whose line of work entails National Security and Defense issues in order to analyze public policy.
The organization condemns the criminalization of private individuals who share classified information with the public. We believe these actions are protected under the First Amendment.
The US Government and the Justice Department, in particular, cannot attempt to consider espionage or to sue any individual, journalist or media outlet that decides to publish information received from whistle-blowers, or that has a critical perspective on such issues and current policies.
We must remind the Justice Department and the Trump Administration that it is precisely the ability to hold an open debate on Security and Defense affairs that will ultimately guarantee democracy, and will build a safer nation.
Although, it could be argued that Julian Assange does not comply with journalistic ethics, prosecuting the disclosure of information of public interest poses a threat to the First Amendment. Thus, it is a violation against the principles that protect freedom of expression and democracy.
Fundamedios is a CSO committed to the defense of Freedom of Expression, Freedom of the Press and Access to Information to advance Transparency and Human Rights as pillars of Democracy.