Why Ben Cohen Of Ben And Jerry's Is Fighting To Free Julian Assange

Why is the ice cream founder fighting for former hacker and journalist, Julian Assange?

Why Ben Cohen Of Ben And Jerry's Is Fighting To Free Julian Assange Alexandros Michailidis & Sterling Munksgard / Shutterstock

Ben Cohen of Ben and Jerry’s (the ice cream chain), is fighting with the help of nonprofit, Assange Defense, to free the former founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange. 

The ice cream founder-turned-activist is helping Julian Assange's case of extradition from the United States.

As a refresher, Assange created WikiLeaks in 2006 to help whistleblowers publish insider information online and release informatio. He has been facing extradition to the United States since May 2019 to face 18 felony counts (one for conspiracy and 17 for espionage). 


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Ben Cohen believes in the "right to know."

Cohen supports Assange and says we have a right to know about the information the government didn’t want us to know. 

“It’s kind of a question of human rights and a question of freedom of speech and freedom of the press," Cohen says. "I think the government is a bunch of old people, kind of like me. They are freaked out about this newfangled internet thing. They are treating him differently because he’s an internet publisher instead of a more traditional newspaper publisher.”


Assange's extradition verdict will be delivered January 4th, 2021. 

Assange is currently being held at London’s Belmarsh prison since April of 2019 when his asylum from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London was revoked after almost seven years spent in the 330-square-foot space from 2012-2019 to avoid the espionage charges in the US and a rape allegation in Sweden, which was dropped before he left the embassy and arrested immediately after.

At the moment, Belmarsh prison is experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak and Assange is kept waiting for a judge’s decision on whether he will be extradited to the US. 

Assange was arrested in 2010, when Wikileaks released U.S. military classified videos sent from former United States Army Intelligence Analyst, Chelsea Manning, of an Apache helicopter attack that killed 18 people including two Reuters journalists

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Other activists include Pamela Anderson, Edward Snowden, and George Christensen.

Along with Cohen, Pamela Anderson is trying to fight for Assange, asking President Trump to pardon Assange from jail.

The two of them met while Assange was staying at the Ecuadorian Embassy from 2012-2019.

“The key to a functioning democracy is a free press. Once you’re in a situation where if you publish something that the government doesn’t want you to know and they can prosecute you, then we’re no longer in a democracy. We’re in some kind of totalitarian state,” said Cohen.


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The question if President Trump will pardon Assange has been going around after a rumor on Twitter was spread by Pastor Mark Burns, saying Trump had plans to pardon Assange.

Along with Cohen and Anderson, others are fighting for Trump to pardon Assange, including Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor, and George Christensen, an Australian member of Parliament.


If Assange is convicted of his charges then he will face a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison. 

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Megan Hatch is a writer at YourTango who covers celebrity and entertainment news and loves internet pop culture. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter for artsy and funny content.