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CCR Statement on Arrest of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

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Rights Group Alarmed By Legal Overreach

Assault Allegations Must Be Taken Seriously While Ensuring Process Not Manipulated for Political Reasons

CONTACT: press@ccrjustice.org

December 7, 2010, New York – In response to the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange today, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:
As a human rights organization, the Center for Constitutional Rights is alarmed by multiple examples of legal overreach and irregularities in the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, especially given concerns that they are meant to clear the way for Mr. Assange to be extradited to the U.S. via Sweden.
 
Standard procedure in these cases is to call in a suspect for interrogation, and he has offered on numerous occasions to cooperate with the authorities. Similarly, a suspect who has surrendered, having never gone into hiding or attempted to flee, would normally be allowed to post bail. Yet Mr. Assange has been arrested and denied bail. 
 
Allegations like these should be taken seriously, and in this regard Assange has made every effort to cooperate in this matter. He should be afforded all due process, and steps should be taken to ensure that the investigation process is not manipulated for political reasons.
 
We are concerned that the United States may seek to punish Mr. Assange for his journalistic efforts at uncovering and exposing the truth underlying key world events exactly as other news media, including The New York Times, have done. The documents published by WikiLeaks are providing important information about significant government wrongdoing and serious human rights violations that must be addressed, rather than focusing entirely on punishing the messenger.
 

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.