On the release of Julian Assange

The Wau Holland Foundation welcomes with relief the fact that journalist and publicist Julian Assange can finally leave for Australia after five years in Belmarsh maximum security prison.

However, the damage to freedom of the press and freedom of information has been done, as the questioning of Julian Assange’s journalistic activities remains legally open, meaning that there is still a threat of persecution of journalists by the US judiciary.

The work of the Wau Holland Foundation was only possible thanks to the many small and large donations that we have received earmarked for the defense and freedom of Julian Assange and others in the WikiLeaks project - many thanks for these donations.

The foundation has so far spent a total of over 16 million euros on lawyers and campaigns, not including the costs of the flight to Australia chartered by the Australian government and guaranteed for by the foundation. In addition to ten law firms in eight countries, human rights lawyers, international journalist associations and the commissioning of lobbying and PR firms, the Foundation has been involved in many activities to draw attention to Julian’s situation and the associated threat to freedom of the press and freedom of expression. The countless supporters who organized local campaigns and regular vigils for Julian also contributed to this result.

We are pleased that with our work we have been able to contribute to the right enshrined in the Basic Law to be freely informed and to disseminate information of public interest. However, the Foundation still has considerable difficulty in communicating these activities to the tax authorities. The Foundation will continue to campaign for freedom of the press and information worldwide and support projects in these areas.