09:37 GMT23 April 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - If WikiLeaks website founder Julian Assange is prosecuted or extradited to the United States for publishing, it would be an infringement upon the freedom of speech, former Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Guillaume Long told Sputnik.

    “Nobody should be prosecuted, nobody should be extradited to the United States for having published material that you got from a source. That’s exactly what journalists do, all the time…There’s no reason why he should face even a day in the US prison, that’s an infringement of freedom of expression … What the United States is trying to do, is to make this into a case of espionage and spying and leaking documents, and not a case of publishing documents, which is what it’s all about,” Long said.

    Assange was arrested in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on Thursday after Quito withdrew asylum from the WikiLeaks founder. Assange is facing a potential extradition to the United States, where he is wanted for  "conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified US government computer."

    The  American Civil Liberties Union stressed immediately after Assange’s arrest that “any prosecution by the United States of Mr. Assange for Wikileaks’ publishing operations would be unprecedented and unconstitutional” and could lead to trials over other news organizations.

    READ MORE: Labour's Diane Abbot Urges Theresa May Not to Extradite Wikileaks' Assange

    The United States accused Assange of conspiring with former US Army soldier Chelsea Manning and helping her break into a classified US government computer and leak data related to the United States' activities in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Guantanamo Bay prison, and US diplomatic cables.

    Long served as the foreign minister in 2016-2017, under President Rafael Correa who agreed to grant asylum to Assange.


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