Photo by Markus Spiske/Pexels

Exposing a crime should not be a crime, regardless of whether those crimes were committed by a Mafia or a State, claims Edward Snowden, the former intelligence contractor who leaked classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013. 

Both Edward Snowden and Julian Assange have made headlines in the last days since Elon Musk tweeted, “I’m not expressing an opinion but should Assange and Snowden be pardoned?”

Majority of the 36.1k replies he has received so far were supporting the freedom of both Snowden and Assange.In the Twitter poll he conducted, an overwhelming 80% of people voted for Assange and Snowden pardon against a 19% of voters who think they should not. 

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is currently in a U.K jail where he is facing a 175 year sentence for publishing U.S. government documents that exposed the inner workings of US diplomacy all over the world. 

While in Iraq, army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, provided Wikileaks with military and diplomatic records about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2010.The documents exposed human right abuses and are regarded as the largest leak of classified records in U.S. history. 

Before his 2019 detention, Julian Assange spent seven years living at the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid arrest but despite the calls to drop the charges against him and stop his extradition to the United States, conservative British politician and former U.K Home Secretary Priti Patel recently signed the papers that requested to extradite Assange.

It was the New York Times, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, El País and the Guardian the papers that first released excerpts from 250,000 documents obtained by the Australian citizen in the so called “Cablegate leak”. These media organisations are asking the U.S. government to stop the extradition as this request they claim is “undermining press freedom.” 

Organisations such as Amnesty International also support Assange, they say: “Amnesty International strongly opposes any possibility of Julian Assange being extradited or sent in any other manner to the USA. There, he faces a real risk of serious human rights violations including possible detention conditions that would amount to torture and other ill-treatment (such as prolonged solitary confinement). The fact that he was the target of a negative public campaign by US officials at the highest levels undermines his right to be presumed innocent and puts him at risk of an unfair trial.”

As for Edward Snowden, he leaked documents revealing how the US government spied on its own citizens, a program later found by a federal appeals court to be unlawful. The disclosures were very damaging for the intelligence community’s relationship with the tech industry in the U.S.

The American has recently been grated Russian citizenship, the country that granted him asylum and sheltered him from US authorities since 2013. He is adamant that he didn’t steal anything, he just created a copy of “thing” that were evidence of crimes.