WikiLeaks campaigners are meeting with the president of Colombia and six other heads of state in attempt to raise support for founder Julian Assange.
Assange, 51, is facing extradition from London to the US, where he is charged with violating the US Espionage Act by publishing US military and diplomatic files in 2010 related to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
WikiLeaks delegation will meet with Colombian President Gustavo Petro tomorrow morning in Bogotá to discuss press freedom and the ‘political nature’ of Assange’s prosecution, sources confirmed to The Mail on Sunday.
The campaigners, including WkiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson and Assange’s chief of staff Joseph Farrell, are set to meet with six other heads of state in the region following the meeting with Mr Petro.
They hope their south American tour will bear influence on the White House by raising support for Assange and appealing to the Hispanic and Latino population in the US.
WikiLeaks campaigners are meeting with Colombian President Gustavo Petro (right) and six other heads of state in attempt to raise support for founder Julian Assange (left)
Assange is wanted by US authorities on 18 counts, including a spying charge, relating to WikiLeaks’ release of confidential US military records and diplomatic cables.
In April 2010, WikiLeaks began publishing documents supplied by a US Army intelligence analyst which included Afghanistan war logs and Guantánamo Bay files.
Washington says he put lives in danger. His supporters say he has been victimised because he exposed US wrongdoing in conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
He has been living in London’s Belmarsh prison since his asylum was withdrawn in 2019. The US has been attempting to extradite Assange since a 2010 sexual assault investigation which has since been discontinued.
His legal team have lodged an appeal at the High Court against London’s decision to extradite him.
The WikiLeaks founder has won support from human rights organisations, activists and media outlets around the world for his investigations.
Assange (pictured) is wanted by US authorities on 18 counts, including a spying charge, relating to WikiLeaks’ release of confidential US military records and diplomatic cables
The campaigners, including WkiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson (left) and Assange’s chief of staff Joseph Farrell (right), are set to meet with six other heads of state in the region following the meeting with Mr Petro
Earlier this year, Assange’s lawyers announced they were suing the CIA and former director Mike Pompeo over what the imprisoned journalist’s representatives say is recording conversations and copying data from phones and computers.
The attorneys, along with two journalists joining the suit, are Americans and allege that the CIA violated their US constitutional protections for confidential discussions with Assange, who is Australian.
They said the CIA worked with a security firm contracted by the Ecuadoran embassy in London, where Assange was living at the time, to spy on the WikiLeaks founder, his lawyers, journalists and others he met with.
Supporters of the WikiLeaks founder demonstrated outside the Houses of Parliament last month to demand an end to an attempt by the US to have him extradited to face criminal charges.
His wife, Stella Assange (pictured in October) said the UK government should speak to authorities in the US to end the extradition bid which was launched in 2019
Mr Assange’s wife Stella, accompanied by their two young sons, was applauded by protesters forming a human chain during an October protest held in support of the journalist
Hundreds, including former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, gathered in a line which stretched from parliament’s perimeter railings and snaked across nearby Westminster Bridge to the other side of the River Thames.
His wife, Stella Assange said the UK government should speak to authorities in the US to end the extradition bid which was launched in 2019.
‘It’s already gone on for three-and-a-half years. It is a stain on the United Kingdom and is a stain on the Biden administration,’ she said in October.
Mrs Assange also said she is concerned for her husband’s health, which has deteriorated since he was sent to Belmarsh prison three years ago.
He also caught COVID-19 while at Belmarsh.