MOSCOW, April 12. /TASS/. Hackers from the international group Anonymous have issued a message to "the British government and their cohort around the world" following the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London on Thursday.
"Let Assange free or you will pay!" the message runs.
Assange’s arrest and also persecution of "other WikiLeaks whistleblowers sends a clear message that these governments will stop at nothing to maintain their secrecy," Anonymous says.
The group believes that "Assange is an enemy of the state because he has exposed the crimes of both the left and the right." It points out that "Assange himself has even warned us about his impending arrest."
The message describes Assange as "a true journalist who speaks truth to power and exposes corruption whether it is on the left or the right."
Since 2010 he has been repeatedly nominated for the Nobel Peace Award each time his case drew the attention of world mass media.
In 2006, Assange founded the portal called WikiLeaks that began to publish secret information about the activity of some governments, including the United States. When charged with harassment in Sweden in 2012, Assange asked the Ecuadoran embassy for asylum, where he has spent nearly seven years. On Thursday, Ecuador terminated his asylum and let the police arrest him for failing to appear in court under the warrant issued back in 2012 and the 2018 US request for his extradition. Assange’s lawyers fear that in case of his extradition to the United States their client may face a prison term of up to 35 years or death penalty. The US Department of Justice argues that he may be sentenced to five years in prison at the most for hacking activity.