WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWLP)– Several members of Congress have sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking that WikiLeaks founder and publisher Julian Assange not be extradited to the United States.

U.S. House of Representative members Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky) are leading the effort for the withdrawal of the extradition request and dropping charges against Assange, citing free speech and freedom of the press. They and sixteen other bi-partisan members of Congress signed the letter.

According to the letter, Assange “faces multiple charges under the Espionage Act due to his role in publishing classified documents about the U.S. State Department, Guantanamo Bay, and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has been detained on remand in London since 2019 and is pending extradition to the U.S., having lost his appeal of the extradition order in the courts of the United Kingdom.”

Assange is from Australia and in 2006 founded WikiLeaks, an online media platform, that publishes classified and other documents as part of its efforts to expose government and corporate corruption around the globe. As a result of WikiLeaks sharing classified U.S. documents in 2010, the U.S. sought to prosecute Assange and the website under the Espionage Act of 1917. Assange applied for political asylum with the Ecuadorian government and lived at their embassy in London until April 2019, when Ecuador revoked his asylum. He was arrested by London Police and remains incarcerated.

Read the letter to President Biden here:

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