12:43 GMT08 August 2020
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    US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden, prominent linguist Noam Chomsky and filmmaker Oliver Stone are among more than 100 activists who have signed an open letter released on Monday calling on US President Donald Trump to drop charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Since 2012, Assange has been residing in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London out of fear of being extradited to Sweden and ultimately to the United States. In the United States, the WikiLeaks founder could face espionage charges for publishing secret US documents through his website.

    In April 2017, media reported that US authorities were ready to file charges against Assange for the leaks of confidential documents via his website.

    "We ask you to immediately close the Grand Jury investigation into WikiLeaks and drop any charges against Julian Assange and other Wikileaks staff members which the Department of Justice is planning," the open letter published on the website of the Courage Foundation said.

    According to the open letter, the threat to the WikiLeaks founder poses a threat to free speech, which is "the great virtue of the United States," and to free journalism.

    Tags:
    Wikileaks, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, United States
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