The double standards of the U.S. government are on full display in the lead-up to World Press Freedom Day.

By Marjorie Cohn, TRUTHOUT

May 3, 2023, will mark the 30th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day, which the United Nations established to remind governments about the need to respect their commitment to freedom of the press. But as the Biden administration proclaims the centrality of press freedom globally, its hypocrisy in pursuing journalist and publisher Julian Assange is stunning.

Supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange rally outside of British Embassy .

The Biden administration recently expressed outrage that Russia arrested journalist Evan Gershkovich of The Wall Street Journal, a United States citizen based in Moscow, for practicing journalism. Gershkovich is now incarcerated in Russia, facing espionage charges that could garner him 20 years in prison. His appeal to lift his pretrial detention was just denied and he was refused a consular visit.

Meanwhile, however, the Biden administration continues to demand the extradition of Australian national Assange for obtaining and publishing evidence of U.S. war crimes.

Both Gershkovich and Assange are journalists detained in a foreign country on espionage charges for doing what journalists do.

Assange has been locked up in a maximum-security prison in London for four years while President Joe Biden’s regime continues former President Donald Trump’s attempts to prosecute him under the Espionage Act. If extradited, tried and convicted, Assange could be sentenced to 175 years. He is the first publisher ever charged under the Espionage Act for revealing state secrets. His appeal is pending in the United Kingdom High Court.

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