Courage our network

Press release: Jeremy Hammond announced as second Courage beneficiary

  • Imprisoned hacktivist media source Jeremy Hammond becomes Courage’s second beneficiary, in addition to Edward Snowden
  • Tax deductible donations to Jeremy’s defence fund can now be made throughout the EU, via the Wau Holland Foundation
  • Jeremy Hammond’s official support site will be relaunched at freejeremy.net, with the current support team still fully involved

Courage, the international organisation dedicated to the protection of truthtellers, has announced that its new beneficiary will be Jeremy Hammond.

Jeremy was sentenced to ten years in prison for being the alleged media source for documents from the private US intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting, Inc. (Stratfor), which included revelations that they had been spying on human rights defenders, for example Bhopal activists and members of PETA, at the behest of corporations and governments. WikiLeaks published these documents in partnership with 29 media organisations worldwide as the Global Intelligence Files, which are still being used for news stories around the world. Despite hundreds of pleas, including a letter submitted by WikiLeaks from itself and its media partners – “newspapers, TV networks, and magazines with a combined audience of 500 million” – asking for leniency for Jeremy, the maximum possible sentence was given.

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Jeremy Hammond, a political dissident and former member of the hacktivist network Anonymous, was sentenced to a decade in prison after he refused to inform on others and defended his actions in service of the truth and the public’s right to know. The judge in his case refused to recuse herself despite a glaring conflict of interest: her husband was a former Stratfor client and had his information revealed in the Global Intelligence Files.

Since March 2012, Jeremy has been cut off from his friends and family, and punished with extensive stays in solitary confinement. By hosting his defence fund, Courage will raise donations to enable Jeremy’s defence team to continue advocating on his behalf, monitoring his condition and fighting for his rights while in prison.

Sarah Harrison, Acting Director of Courage and WikiLeaks Investigations Editor, said:

Courage supports and defends truthtellers who take risks and need our help, wherever they are. We traditionally think of whistleblowers as insiders disclosing their employers’ abuses, but those on the outside who work to make public the secret wrongdoing of the powerful are just as vital in the effort to hold them accountable. Thanks to Jeremy, we now know the inner workings of the private intelligence sector which runs much of US intelligence activities including more than 80% of the NSA’s operations. Jeremy has found himself at the sharp end of the US government’s crackdown on the media so it’s important that he knows he has our support.

Grace North, who has been coordinating support efforts for Jeremy Hammond since June 2013, said:

This is an exciting new partnership for those of us who have worked so tirelessly to support Jeremy through this journey. Jeremy believes that one of the most important things a person can do to combat the injustices of the world is to educate themselves and others. Joining with the Courage Foundation is the next step in getting information and education to as wide an audience as possible. The more people we can reach with Jeremy’s message, and with the information Jeremy so bravely sacrificed his freedom to disclose, the more people we can have fighting on the front lines for not only Jeremy’s freedom, but the freedom of humanity.

In addition to hosting the defence fund, Courage will publicly advocate for Jeremy Hammond and build his network of support. A relaunched website at freejeremy.net will keep the public updated on Jeremy’s case, raising awareness about the importance of his revelations and publishing Jeremy’s writing from prison.

Donations to Jeremy’s defence fund can be made at freejeremy.net/donate.
Tax-free donations can be made throughout the EU via the Wau Holland Foundation at http://www.wauland.de/en/projects/07.html#JH

Courage originally began in August 2013 as The Journalistic Source Protection Defence Fund and has run Edward Snowden’s official defence fund since that time. Jeremy Hammond is Courage’s next beneficiary; his official support site is located at https://www.freejeremy.net and the related twitter account at @FreeJeremyNet

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For the Courage launch of Jeremy Hammond becoming a beneficiary, the following people are available for interviews and comment by emailing courage.press@couragefound.org:

Sarah Harrison, Courage’s Acting Director
Renata Avila, Courage Advisory Board Member and human rights lawyer
Kevin Zeese, Courage Advisory Board Member and cofounder of popularresistance.org
Bernd Fix, of the Wau Holland Foundation who now collect EU wide tax deductible donations for Jeremy Hammond
Margaret Ratner Kuntsler, Attorney for Jeremy Hammond
Grace North, Support network coordinator for Jeremy Hammond