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Assange’s arrest sets dangerous precedent for journalists — Reporters Without Borders

Assange was arrested in London on Thursday after Ecuador’s president announced that the country was withdrawing his asylum

MOSCOW, April 11. /TASS/. The non-profit organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) believes that the arrest of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange sets a dangerous precedent for journalists, RSF Secretary General Christophe Deloire said on Twitter on Thursday.

"Targeting Assange because of Wikileaks’ provision of information to journalists that was in the public interest would be a punitive measure and would set a dangerous precedent for journalists or their sources that the US may wish to pursue in future," the tweet reads.

Assange was arrested by the Metropolitan Police Service on Thursday after Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno had announced that the country was withdrawing his asylum. "He has been taken into custody at a central London police station where he will remain, before being presented before Westminster Magistrates' Court as soon as is possible," the Met Police said in a statement.

Assange’s situation

In 2012, Assange sought refuge in London's Ecuadorian Embassy to escape extradition to Sweden, which had issued a warrant for his arrest on sexual harassment and rape charges. Assange dismissed the accusations as politically motivated. His worst fear was Sweden might extradite him to the United States, where he would face 35 years in prison or capital punishment for publishing classified State Department documents. The rape case was dropped in 2017 but the United Kingdom continued to insist that Assange be arrested over his failure to appear in court in London.