Tuesday, 06 April 2021 10:51

11 years since Collateral Murder video, Assange languishes in prison Featured

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Courtesy YouTube

Eleven years since WikiLeaks aired the video Collateral Murder, which showed American Apache helicopters gunning down more than a dozen unarmed civilians in Iraq, the founder of the organisation, Julian Assange, is still in prison in Belmarsh in the UK even though a British judge ruled that he should not be extradited to the US to face charges of spying.

Assange faces criminal charges for publishing classified information that was leaked to WikiLeaks by an American soldier, then known as Bradley Manning, but now, after gender reassignment surgery, known as Chelsea Manning.

The Americans have filed an appeal against the verdict not to extradite him. Assange had time until 29 March to respond, after which a decision was to be made whether to let the appeal go ahead.

On 4 January, British District Judge Vanessa Baraister ruled that Assange should not be extradited, saying the risk he would commit suicide in a US jail were too high.

The Collateral Murder video was released on 5 April 2010. It showed an Apache helicopter firing on a Reuters journalist and his assistant and a number of others in the suburb of New Baghdad. Two children were seriously wounded.

A website dedicated to the release of the video says: "The [US] military did not reveal how the Reuters staff were killed, and stated that they did not know how the children were injured.

"After demands by Reuters, the incident was investigated and the US military concluded that the actions of the soldiers were in accordance with the law of armed conflict and its own 'Rules of Engagement'.

"Consequently, WikiLeaks has released the classified Rules of Engagement for 2006, 2007 and 2008, revealing these rules before, during, and after the killings."

iTWire has contacted Greg Barns, a member of Assange's legal team and a WikiLeaks adviser [corrected], to find out the status of the appeal.


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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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