In London, Chinese dissident artist and filmmaker Ai Weiwei staged a protest Monday in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in front of the courthouse where Assange’s extradition hearing is ongoing.
Ai Weiwei: “Someone threatened to be put away, simply of his own thinking and his peaceful demonstration. And he’s such a genius, in a way. And I think the fight is part of his life. And, of course, I am here in support of him.”
Assange faces almost certain conviction if extradited to the U.S., and up to 175 years in prison. Assange has been charged under the Espionage Act. U.S. prosecutors allege he conspired with whistleblower Chelsea Manning to illegally download hundreds of thousands of war logs from Iraq and Afghanistan, along with a huge trove of classified cables from the State Department.