From hacker to free man: the path of Julian Assange, creator of WikiLeaks


Itinerant childhood

Julian Paul Hawkins is born in the Australian city of Townsville. His parents separate before he is born, but when he is one year old his mother marries an actor who owns a small theater company – and who he will consider his father. He spends much of his childhood and youth jumping from place to place.


Splendid liar

Começa a hack under the name Mendax, which derives from the Latin expression splendide mendax (splendid liar), attributed to Horace. With others hackers, founded the group Subversivos Internacionais. He begins university studies in Programming, Mathematics and Physics, but does not complete them.


Daniel, the son

He starts living with his girlfriend, with whom he has a son, Daniel. But when, in 1991, the police invaded his house and detained him for hacking, she runs away with her son, which leads to a long battle for custody. Assange pleads guilty to 24 of the 31 charges, but is released, as the judge considers that he acted out of “intellectual curiosityâ€.



Founds WikiLeaks, a non-profit organization dedicated to reporting in the public interest. In 2010, he published US military documents on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.


Arrest warrant

He is interrogated on suspicion of sexual assault and rape of two Swedish women (charge filed in 2017), which leads, three months later, to Sweden issuing an arrest warrant. international. Despite denying the accusation, he handed himself over to the UK police, being released ten days later after paying bail.


Embassy of Ecuador

Afraid of being extradited to Sweden (and later to the USA), he violates the terms of his bail and escapes. He receives political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he lives for seven years. In 2017, Swedish authorities closed the investigation into the case of sexual assault and rape and revoked the arrest warrant, but the United Kingdom warned that if Assange left the embassy he would be arrested .


Belmarsh Prison

The London police enter the Ecuadorian embassy, ​​with permission from the Ecuadorian authorities, and arrest him. He lives in the high-security Belmarsh prison, in south London. His arrest generates reactions of support and protest, among those who consider him a technology terrorist and those who say he defends democracy and freedom of the press.



The Australian Parliament asks Washington and London to accept his return home. He, after reaching an agreement with the USA, pleading guilty to violating American espionage law, is released from prison.


Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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