Wikileaks founder, Co-director, and Julian Assange’s mentor, Gavin MacFadyen has died at the age of 76. The cause of death is unknown. Wikileaks members have flocked online to post Farwell’s, including Assange.
RT.com reports: “We are extremely sad to announce the death of Gavin MacFadyen, CIJ’s Founder, Director and its leading light,” the Centre for Investigative Journalism team wrote on its Twitter.
The CIJ team also published an address from MacFadyen’s wife and member of Julian Assange’s Defense Fund, Susan Benn, who described her husband as a “larger-than-life person,” with gratitude and respect.
Gavin Macfadyen, beloved director of WikiLeaks, now takes his fists and his fight to battle God. Sock it to him, forever, Gavin. -JA pic.twitter.com/7zyzs1Qxxk
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 23, 2016
“He was the model of what a journalist should be… He spearheaded the creation of a journalistic landscape which has irrevocably lifted the bar for ethical and hard-hitting reporting. Gavin worked tirelessly to hold power to account.
“His life and how he lived it were completely in sync with the principles that he held dear and practiced as a journalist and educator – to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable,” Benn wrote.
Recounting her husband’s achievements, she said he had produced and directed more than 50 investigative documentaries covering diverse and multiple countries and problems. She also noted that he had been banned from apartheid South Africa and the Soviet Union for his investigative work, and was also attacked by British Neo-Nazis.
In his professional career, MacFadyen shed light on topics like child labor, pollution, the torture of political prisoners, neo-Nazis in Britain, UK industrial accidents, Contra murders in Nicaragua, the CIA, maritime piracy, election fraud in South America, South African mines, as well as many others. He worked on investigative television programs for PBS’s Frontline, Granada Television’s World in Action, the BBC’s Fine Cut, Panorama, The Money Programme, and 24 Hours, as well as Channel 4’s Dispatches.
The cause of MacFadyen’s death has not yet been made public. In the original post from his wife Susan, she wrote that he had died from “a short illness,” but that line has now been removed.
Earlier this year, MacFadyen gave an interview to RT’s Going Underground program to talk about the publication of leaks related to US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the most recent of which have been emails from the account of her aid, John Podesta. The barrage of sometimes shocking revelations has proven to be a bit of a thorn in the side for Clinton’s election campaign. In the interview, he said that the documents released so far are merely a drop in the ocean of the information WikiLeaks is receiving, and was hopeful that while “there’s only one known Snowden,” there may be other whistleblowers who will keep shedding light on injustice and other major global pain points.
By Neon Nettle
MacFayden’s death was due to lung cancer