Rep. Gabbard: Assange Arrest Sets Dangerous Precedent

April 11, 2019, 12:45 PM HST (Updated April 11, 2019, 12:45 PM)
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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard issued the following statement in response to the arrest of Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange in London on Thursday, April 11, 2019, by British police.

Julian Assange was arrested on April 11, 2019. Wikimedia Image.

“Today’s arrest and indictment of Julian Assange undermines freedom of the press, and seeks to silence whistleblowers and the journalists who publish their information,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “This sets a dangerous precedent of criminal prosecution of journalists or news organizations who publish information the government doesn’t like, while also opening the door for other countries to extradite US journalists who publish their country’s secrets,. We must protect whistleblowers and freedom of the press, and exercise oversight over our law enforcement and intelligence agencies to ensure our Constitutional rights are upheld.”

Background: Rep. Gabbard has been a strong advocate to protect Americans’ privacy and personal freedoms. She cosponsored legislation to reform NSA spying policies as well as called on the USA Freedom Act to do more to address the overreaching surveillance activities allowed by the PATRIOT Act. She led the introduction of the Strengthening Privacy, Oversight and Transparency (SPOT) Act, a bipartisan bill to empower the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and improve oversight of the intelligence community and criticized the NSA’s warrantless collection of Americans’ emails, voted against its reauthorization, and spoke in favor of court actions to put an end to the practice as well as introduced legislation to the same end.

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