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WASHINGTON On Thursday, authorities in the United Kingdom arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, taking him from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where he had sought asylum for the past six years.

The arrest was in response to U.S. charges that he conspired to hack a Defense Department computer as part of the 2010 release of classified government documents and communications. Assange now faces extradition to the United States.

Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron made the following statement:

“Whatever the legal maneuvers U.S. prosecutors are attempting here, these charges are an assault on press freedom. We don’t agree with everything Wikileaks or Julian Assange have ever done, but prosecuting journalists — even unconventional ones — for publishing leaked material from government whistleblowers is wrong, dangerous and unconstitutional. If this case goes forward, any reporter attempting to cover the most important stories of government wrongdoing, from corruption to war crimes, would fear extradition and prosecution.”

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