‘WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson is seeking answers after the publisher’s official account was mysteriously locked, ahead of an extradition hearing for founder Julian Assange, who faces life in a US jail (or worse).
Hrafnsson claimed the @wikileaks Twitter account had been locked “shortly before Assange extradition hearing” and for no apparent reason, in a post from his personal account on Monday. Lamenting he had been unable to “reach a human at Twitter” for answers, Hrafnsson tagged both the platform’s tech support and CEO Jack Dorsey.
The @wikileaks account’s most recent posts date back to February 9 and concern the dire precedent set by extraditing a publisher to stand trial on espionage charges. Assange’s extradition hearing in the UK, which a court ordered to be split into two parts, is set to begin next week, while the second half is scheduled for May. The publisher’s lawyers have complained that access to their client is being restricted, and Assange was only recently moved from solitary confinement at Belmarsh prison after his fellow inmates staged a protest. The UN special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer has accused the UK government of contributing to Assange’s “psychological torture” after examining the activist last year.
Assange supporters flocked to Hrafnsson’s post to pile on Dorsey and Twitter, demanding to know why Assange’s rights – as an individual on the Council of Europe’s protected list, as well as a journalist – were not being respected.’