Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Wednesday, July 17, 2019 03:33:38 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Changing Direction on Press Freedom

Julian Assange brings an opportunity for US, UK

By
08th-May-2019       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Thomas L. Knapp :
May 3 was World Press Freedom Day. The annual observance usually focuses on the World Press Freedom Index published each year by Reporters without Borders. Break out the champagne! The United States ranked 48th of 179 countries this year, falling three places from 2018.
A day earlier, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared in court in London (the United Kingdom ranked 33rd on the Index this year) to contest his proposed extradition to the United States. He faces spurious US "hacking" charges framed to avoid taking official notice of the indisputable fact that his actual "crimes" consist entirely of engaging in journalism.
Not a good World Press Freedom Day look for the UK or the US. But the plodding pace of the UK's judicial system -- his next hearing comes at the end of May, a second one is scheduled for mid-June, and the matter may drag on for months -- offers an opportunity to turn things around and get them moving in the right direction.
Reporters Without Borders postures as politically neutral, but their current ranking of the US is largely based not on a deterioration in actual press freedom, but rather on US President Donald Trump's big mouth. He says mean things -- some true, some false, some downright stupid -- about the media.
Trump could redeem himself on the press freedom front, essentially wiping the slate clean, by pardoning Assange for all alleged "crimes" committed prior to May 1st, 2019.
Even better, he could publicly justify the pardon, pointing out that this is solely and entirely a political prosecution premised in the notion that it's a "crime" to embarrass politicians by revealing verifiably true information about their actions.
Alternatively, US Justice Department prosecutors could save him the trouble by just dropping the charges and withdrawing the extradition request.
A pardon and public statement from Trump would be better, though, both for press freedom and as red meat for his own political base. After all, the American politician most frequently and badly embarrassed by Assange's work is Trump's own bete noire, Hillary Clinton. The WikiLeaks "Cablegate" dump exposed her plan to have US diplomats bug the offices of their UN counterparts. Then WikiLeaks doubled down and ousted her for the DNC's rigging of the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination.
Failing both of those perfectly reasonable courses of action on the US government's part, the UK courts could find a reason to free Assange (currently serving 50 weeks for jumping bail on charges that were non-existent rather than merely spurious) instead of handing him over.
Whatever -- just pick one and make it happen, guys. The most important outcome here is a free Julian Assange. The bonus material would be explaining why: He's a political prisoner and journalism is not a crime.

(Tom L. Knapp, Director, The William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism, lives and works in north central Florida, USA; thegarrisoncenter.org)

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Accidents at level crossings


A newly-married couple and eight others of the bridal party were killed when a Dhaka-bound train rammed their microbus at an unmanned level crossing in Sirajganj's Ullapara upazila on Monday evening. The fatal accident has spoiled unmet dream of the couple. It's due to utter negligence of the Railway Authorities ...

Football »

Argentine sport court member advices Messi to apologize


AP, Buenos Aires :Lionel Messi should apologize for his harsh comments at the Copa America in order to avoid a sanction, an Argentine member of sport's highest court said on Monday.Following defeats in the last two finals, Messi had another frustrating end to the tournament when he was sent off ...

International »

Government restrictions on religion increasing worldwide


AP, New York  :Government restrictions on religion have increased markedly in many places around the world, not only in authoritarian countries, but also in many of Europe's democracies, according to a report surveying 198 countries that was released Monday.The report released by the Pew Research Center, covering developments through 2017, ...

International »

Erdogan hails S-400 deal as Turkey marks 2016 coup bid


AFP, Istanbul :President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday hailed the controversial delivery of a Russian missile defence system despite the threat of US sanctions, as Turkey marked the third anniversary of a bloody coup attempt.Just days before the anniversary, the first batch of the Russian S-400 defence system was delivered ...

Business & Economy »

HMD Global launches two Nokia Smart Phones


Economic Reporter :HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, launched Nokia 3.2 and Nokia 2.2 in Bangladesh.The Launching ceremony was held at a city hotel on Tuesday.  Farhan Rashid, Head of Business of HMD Global Bangladesh, Raquibul Kabir, Managing Director of Union Group, Syed MostahidalHoq, Managing Director of Daraz Bangladesh ...

Entertainment »

Lea Michele to star in Same Time, Next Christmas


Actor Lea Michele is set to star in ABC's Christmas movie titled Same Time, Next Christmas. In the movie, the Glee alum will play Olivia Henderson, a young woman who meets her childhood sweetheart during her family's annual Christmas visit to Hawaii. After being separated by distance and time, the ...

Entertainment »

Amala Paul reveals she is in a relationship


Actress Amala Paul, who is awaiting the release of her upcoming film 'Aadai' on July 19, has revealed that she is in a relationship. It is to be noted that the pretty actress fell in love with Director Vijay while working for 'Deiva Thirumagal' and the duo got married in ...

Cricket »

Cricket World Cup team of the tournament


England won the World Cup for the first time after beating New Zealand in Sunday's thrilling final at Lord's, bringing the curtain down on a dramatic event featuring some superb individual performances.AFP Sport names its team of the tournament:Rohit Sharma (India)The 32-year-old emerged as the tournament's star batsman, making history ...

Cricket »

I will be apologising for rest of my life - Stokes on overthrows drama


Ben Stokes has been saying sorry a lot lately. His latest apology was to the people of New Zealand for one of the most outrageous sporting flukes that contributed to England winning the Cricket World Cup at the expense of the country of his birth.Stokes had already broken New Zealand ...

International »

Iran tanker will be freed after guarantees, says Britain


British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt sought to ease tensions with Iran on Saturday, saying a tanker held by Gibraltar would be released if Tehran guaranteed it was not heading to Syria.He said he had a "constructive call" with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, who he said assured him that ...

Entertainment »

Deepika’s Veronica stays etched; shares sneak peeks as Cocktail turns seven


Bollywood’s leading lady Deepika Padukone gave an electrifying performance in one of her most strongly essayed characters- Veronica which stays as one of her most memorable characters. As Cocktail clocks seven years today, the actress took to social media to give a shout-out to one of her most rebellious characters ...

Cricket »

Mashrafe begins practice amid concern over his Sri Lanka tour


Amid the widespread apprehension over his Sri Lanka tour following a hamstring injury that kept him at bay throughout the World Cup, Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza began practice at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Sunday.He was seen spending busy time in gymnasium and latter running at the Stadium, ...

Editorial »

Lee Nak-yeon's visit to strengthen Dhaka -Seoul ties


THE official bilateral talks between Bangladesh and South Korea held at the Prime Minister's Office in Dhaka on Sunday. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her South Korean counterpart Lee Nak-yeon led their respective sides. After the talks, a number of bilateral instruments on trade, investment and cultural fronts were signed. ...

International »

Israel threatens 'crushing' response to any Hezbollah strike


AFP, Jerusalem :Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday warned the head of Lebanon's Tehran-backed Hezbollah that "crushing" retaliation would follow any attack, after its leader said the group's rockets could reach Tel Aviv."Over the weekend we heard (Hassan) Nasrallah's boasting about his attack plans," he said at the start ...

Entertainment »

Nishita Barua`s new songs


Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Anybody can identify the voice of Nishita Barua by virtue of her vocal. It is really a matter for a singer to introduce herself by her ‘signature voice.’ Nishita has been getting positive response from the listeners from the beginning of her career in music. With her ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news