Julian Assange’s 1,901-Day Detention Ends: Plea Deal Frees WikiLeaks Founder After Years Behind Bars

June 25, 2024
2 mins read
Moving closer to freedom. Photo Credits: @wikileaks (X Formerly Twitter)
Moving closer to freedom. Photo Credits: @wikileaks (X Formerly Twitter)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange plans to plead guilty to one charge of violating the U.S. Espionage Act as part of an agreement with the Department of Justice. The deal would set him free in exchange for a sentence equivalent to the time he has already spent in a UK prison—five years. According to WikiLeaks on the social network X, Assange has already left the United Kingdom. “He left Belmarsh maximum security prison on the morning of 24 June, after having spent 1901 days there. He was granted bail by the High Court in London and was released at Stansted airport during the afternoon, where he boarded a plane and departed the UK,” it stated in a press release posted on social media. Assange’s plane stopped over in Bangkok, as stated by Thai government sources. There, he made a technical stop of more than eight hours at Don Mueang International Airport, from where he has already departed for Saipan in the Marianas.

The agreement was disclosed in a judicial document filed this Monday before the United States District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, as reports suggest. However, it still needs to be approved by a judge, although a decision is expected during the day on Wednesday. The deal between Assange and the U.S. Department of Justice has not yet been formally closed, as mentioned by WikiLeaks on the social network X. However, the organization has already celebrated the cyberactivist’s return to Australia, where he will reunite with his family after more than a decade.

A later post on X portrayed Assange in a relaxed pose while relishing the view from his flight. The post stated a heartfelt message, “Imagine. From over 5 years in a small cell in a maximum security prison. Nearly 14 years detained in the UK…To This” 

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“Julian is free,” said Stella Assange earlier on her X account, where she posted images of Assange boarding a plane. “Words cannot express our immense gratitude to YOU- yes YOU, who have all mobilised for years and years to make this come true. THANK YOU. tHANK YOU. THANK YOU.,” the message reads. Julian Assange’s ordeal “is finally coming to an end,” his mother, Christine Assange, rejoiced. “Shows the importance and power of quiet diplomacy,” she expressed in a statement released by the public broadcaster ABC and other media. “It looks as though Julian will be free to come back to Australia and my thanks and congratulations to all his supporters in Australia who made it possible and of course Prime Minister Anthony Albanese,” his father, John Shipton, added in an interview with ABC.

For his part, the Prime Minister of Australia has said he wants Assange to return to the country as soon as possible. “Regardless of the views that people have about Mr. Assange’s activities, the case has dragged on for too long,” Albanese stated in Parliament. “There’s nothing to be gained by his continued incarceration and we want him brought home to Australia,” he added. “WikiLeaks published groundbreaking stories of government corruption and human rights abuses, holding the powerful accountable for their actions. As editor-in-chief, Julian paid severely for these principles, and for the people’s right to know,” stated the press release. Now, “Julian’s freedom is our freedom.”

Rahul Somvanshi

Rahul, possessing a profound background in the creative industry, illuminates the unspoken, often confronting revelations and unpleasant subjects, navigating their complexities with a discerning eye. He perpetually questions, explores, and unveils the multifaceted impacts of change and transformation in our global landscape. As an experienced filmmaker and writer, he intricately delves into the realms of sustainability, design, flora and fauna, health, science and technology, mobility, and space, ceaselessly investigating the practical applications and transformative potentials of burgeoning developments.

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