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01:59

Germany: Assange's father speaks of 'incalculable benefits' of whistleblowers

Germany, Berlin
October 02, 2019 at 18:48 GMT +00:00 · Published

Julian Assange's father, John Shipton, spoke of "immense" and "incalculable benefits" of the work of the WikiLeaks founder and that of "a handful" of others, including former US Army intelligence analyst and whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Shipton spoke at a press conference, alongside member of Die Linke (the Left Party) Sevim Dagdelen, at the German Federal Parliament building in Berlin on Wednesday.

"Those few people - Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, it's just a handful of people, probably not more than that's in this room, less - have brought to us immense benefits, incalculable benefits, to people, to individuals to know where the war crimes are, why seven countries have been destroyed in 20 years," said Shipton.

He also went to say that Assange is still being held in solitary confinement "22 to 23 hours a day."

According to Shipton, his son has "no access to the gym, no access to computers, no access to the means of defending himself in the case that is coming up in February. He is now on remand after serving 50 weeks and as a remand prisoner."

Assange will face a US extradition hearing in February on charges of espionage. The Ecuadorian embassy in London was the home of Assange for almost seven years, after he entered the property on June 19, 2012 claiming diplomatic asylum.

He was arrested by the UK police on April 11, 2019 after Ecuador officially revoked his asylum status and allowed the UK police to escort him from the embassy and into custody. Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison on May 1 for breaching his bail conditions, when he took refuge in the embassy in 2012.

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Julian Assange's father, John Shipton, spoke of "immense" and "incalculable benefits" of the work of the WikiLeaks founder and that of "a handful" of others, including former US Army intelligence analyst and whistleblower Chelsea Manning. Shipton spoke at a press conference, alongside member of Die Linke (the Left Party) Sevim Dagdelen, at the German Federal Parliament building in Berlin on Wednesday.

"Those few people - Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, it's just a handful of people, probably not more than that's in this room, less - have brought to us immense benefits, incalculable benefits, to people, to individuals to know where the war crimes are, why seven countries have been destroyed in 20 years," said Shipton.

He also went to say that Assange is still being held in solitary confinement "22 to 23 hours a day."

According to Shipton, his son has "no access to the gym, no access to computers, no access to the means of defending himself in the case that is coming up in February. He is now on remand after serving 50 weeks and as a remand prisoner."

Assange will face a US extradition hearing in February on charges of espionage. The Ecuadorian embassy in London was the home of Assange for almost seven years, after he entered the property on June 19, 2012 claiming diplomatic asylum.

He was arrested by the UK police on April 11, 2019 after Ecuador officially revoked his asylum status and allowed the UK police to escort him from the embassy and into custody. Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison on May 1 for breaching his bail conditions, when he took refuge in the embassy in 2012.

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