Twitter Locks WikiLeaks Official Account With 5.4 Million Followers, Days Before Julian Assange's Extradition Hearing

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Days before Julian Assange’s extradition hearings are set to continue, WikiLeaks’ journalist Kristin Hrafnsson reports that the official WikiLeaks twitter account has been locked. “All attempts to get it reopened via regular channels have been unsuccessful,” writes Hrafnsson in a tweet. “It has been impossible to reach a human at twitter to resolve the issue. Can someone fix this?” RT reports:

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.

ZeroHedge also points out that this isn’t the first time WikiLeaks’ account was locked. In 2016, “Twitter lit up in late July with allegations that it tried to suppress news that secret-leaking website Wikileaks exposed thousands of emails obtained from the servers of the Democratic National Committee,” reports ZeroHeads, citing The Washington Examiner. “Friday afternoon, users noted, ‘#DNCLeaks’ was trending, with more than 250,000 tweets about it on the platform. By Friday evening, it vanished completely from the site’s ‘trending’ bar for at least 20 minutes. It returned as ‘#DNCLeak’ after users erupted, though it was too late to quell their rage.”

  • For what it’s worth, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey at the time denied any attempt to intentionally silence the account.
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