WikiLeaks lawyer to speak at U of M Oct. 4

Mark Stephens, an internationally known free-speech advocate who has represented WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, will speak in Minneapolis Oct. 4.

He’ll give the University of Minnesota’s 26th annual Silha Lecture: “Free Speech and the Digital Challenge Around the Globe: A Conversation With Mark Stephens.”

It’s at 7 p.m. Oct. 4 in the Coffman Union Theater, 300 Washington Ave. S.E., Minneapolis. It’s free and open to the public. No reservations or tickets are required.

Says a release from the University:

Stephens is the head of the International and Media department at the London-based law firm Finers Stephens Innocent. Described by The Times of London as “one of the best advocates for freedom of expression,” Stephens has appeared in many high profile cases in the United Kingdom, including extradition proceedings involving Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.

 Stephens specializes in defending free speech and freedom of information, and has advised a wide variety of media outlets around the world. He has litigated cases in many countries, including the United States, Iraq, Singapore and Russia.

Stephens has said that of all his cases, he remains proudest of his successful defense of Washington Post correspondent Jonathan Randal, who had been ordered to testify before the Hague War Crimes Tribunal concerning atrocities he observed while covering the Yugoslav War in the 1990s. Stephens successfully argued that “Compelling journalists to give evidence at war crimes trials puts their lives at risk because they become automatic targets.”

The event will include an audience Q&A.

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