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How the Press Abandoned One of Their Own
How Julian Assange has been left to his fate.
My piece in Harper’s Magazine, just published, on the real facts of the Assange story, studiously ignored by his fellow journalists.
Julian Assange, 2015 © Andy Gotts/Camera Press/Redux
How the media failed Julian Assange
Every year on the first of December, the Committee to Protect Journalists publishes its global prison census, documenting the number of journalists behind bars around the world. The 2022 edition set a grim record: 363 jailed journalists. Scanning the list—organized alphabetically by first name—and scrolling down to the J’s, we see that Juan Lorenzo Holmann Chamorro, publisher of the Nicaraguan newspaper La Prensa, has been locked up since 2021 on charges of money laundering, part of the Ortega dictatorship’s crackdown on independent media. Next is Juret Haji, the director of the Xinjiang Daily, detained since 2018 after a colleague was accused of being “two-faced,” a common Chinese government accusation. Julian Assange would fit neatly between these two names, but he fails to appear, as has been the case since the founder of WikiLeaks was dragged from London’s Ecuadorian Embassy in 2019 and locked in solitary confinement at Belmarsh Prison, dubbed “Britain’s Guantánamo.”