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Rights Group Hails US For Freeing WikiLeaks Founder, Julian Assange

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The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has commended the United States for releasing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who was held in a UK jail for five years while fighting extradition to the US.

In a media statement sighted by Diaspora Digital Media, HURIWA‘s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, praised Assange’s “resilience and unbending resolve to stand by the powers of his convictions.” He also applauded the US government for reaching a plea bargain that allowed Assange to plead guilty to a single count of conspiracy to obtain and disseminate national defense information.

HURIWA recalled that a High Court order for Assange’s appeal against extradition was due to be heard next month, but a plea agreement was signed last Wednesday. Assange left the UK jurisdiction on Monday, and his wife, Stella Assange, told the Press Association that he would need to pay $500,000 (£390,000) to cover the cost of the chartered flight taking him from London to Australia.

HURIWA described Assange’s prolonged detention as “oppressive” and a “calculated plot by the USA to undermine efforts of the media to uncover some truths that indicted the armed forces of the USA of committing war crimes in the Iraq war.”

“It is shocking that the USA, which prides itself as the bastion of democracy, is shown in this case of Julian Assange as the party that is opposed to the principles of accountability and full disclosures,” Onwubiko said. “HURIWA is however happy that the creative talent behind the once-famous WikiLeaks, Mr. Julian Assange, is once again a free man.”

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“This man is a phenomenon and he symbolizes the constant struggles between the forces of light and that of darkness. We are happy and overwhelmed with joy that finally, justice is achieved, and he is a free man,” Onwubiko added.


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