Browse by author
Lookup NU author(s): Professor Iain Munro
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).
The article is based on investigations by two branches of the United Nations Human Rights Council into the treatment of the whistleblower journalist, Julian Assange – the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. The UN investigations analysed for this ‘Acting Up’ article show that Julian Assange is an inconvenient dissident, who has been subjected to persecution by liberal democracies rather than authoritarian regimes. Previous research into whistleblowing has highlighted the courage and risks taken by individual whistleblowers in speaking truth to power however, this case highlights a different facet of speaking truth to power which shows how lawyers, activists and other professionals often refuse to do this because of the professional costs of speaking up for an apparently toxic individual. This article argues that the UN investigations have built a ‘counter-archive’ of suppressed facts about the case, which challenges the ‘collective amnesia’ of the public discourse. This case demonstrates that speaking truth to power requires not only individual courage but the active support of inconvenient dissidents, who lack other civil society support.
Author(s): Driver DG, Andenæs M, Munro I
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Pages: epub ahead of print
Online publication date: 03/07/2023
Acceptance date: 02/04/2018
Date deposited: 21/06/2023
ISSN (print): 1350-5084
ISSN (electronic): 1461-7323
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.
Altmetrics provided by Altmetric