Sarah Harrison (journalist)

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Sarah Harrison
Sarah Harrison, with earrings and long, dirty blonde ponytail, faces left towards a microphone
Harrison at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg, 2013
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom[1]
Alma materQueen Mary, University of London,
City University London
GenreNews leaks
SubjectHuman rights violations, global surveillance and security[1]

Sarah Harrison is a former WikiLeaks section editor.[2] She worked with the WikiLeaks' legal defence and has been described as Julian Assange's closest adviser.[3] Harrison accompanied National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden on a high-profile flight from Hong Kong to Moscow while he was sought by the United States government.[4]


As an intern at the UK-based Centre for Investigative Journalism, she was assigned to Julian Assange before the Afghan War documents leak.[5] After Daniel Domscheit-Berg left WikiLeaks over a dispute with Assange, Harrison's role in the organisation increased, particularly with the US diplomatic cables leak and Assange's legal fight against Swedish extradition.[5] Harrison is a former WikiLeaks section editor.[2][3] She worked with the WikiLeaks' legal defence led by Baltasar Garzón,[1] and was Julian Assange's closest adviser.[3] In 2014, Harrison spoke about her support for WikiLeaks, saying "the greatest unaccountable power of today [is] the United States and our Western democracies."[6]

Harrison also served as acting director of Courage Foundation, a UK trust to support whistleblowers originally cofounded by Julian Assange as the Journalistic Source Protection Defence Fund,[7] from 2014[8] until April 2017, when WikiLeaks became a Courage beneficiary.[9]

Edward Snowden[edit]

On 24 June 2013, WikiLeaks said that Harrison accompanied National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden on a high-profile[10] flight from Hong Kong to Moscow en route to political asylum from US extradition.[1][3][5][10] Dominic Rushe of The Guardian observed that Harrison was a "strange choice" because of her lack of legal qualifications compared to other WikiLeaks staff, such as human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson.[5] At the time, Harrison had been with the organisation for over two years.[3] On 1 August 2013, she accompanied Snowden out of Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport after he was granted a year of temporary asylum.[11]

Exile from UK[edit]

In 2014, Harrison said she was living in exile in Berlin as she had received legal advice that she would very likely be detained under the UK's Terrorism Act on entry to the UK. Under the Act she could be asked to provide information about WikiLeaks’ and Snowden's sources and refusal to answer would be a crime.[12]


Harrison received the Willy Brandt Peace Prize in 2015.[13]


  1. ^ a b c d FlorCruz, Michelle (23 June 2013). "Edward Snowden Travels To Moscow Accompanied By WikiLeaks' Sarah Harrison". International Business Times. Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Sarah Harrison: "It's not the journalist's role to decide what the public can see"". European Centre for Press and Media Freedom. 5 August 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e Kelley, Michael (24 June 2013). "Meet Sarah Harrison, The Wikileaks Representative Travelling With Edward Snowden". Business Insider. Allure Media. Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  4. ^ Corbett, Sara. "How a Snowdenista Kept the NSA Leaker Hidden in a Moscow Airport". Vogue. Retrieved 26 September 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d Rushe, Dominic (23 June 2013). "Edward Snowden's WikiLeaks escort one of Assange's closest advisors". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  6. ^ Berthold Stevens (2 July 2014), Exposing the secrets of unaccountable power Deutsche Welle
  7. ^ Ackerman, Spencer (13 August 2018). "Julian Assange Went After a Former Ally. It Backfired Epically". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  8. ^ "Launch of Courage and Snowden Campaign in Berlin, Wednesday 11th June". Courage Foundation. 9 June 2014. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  9. ^ "Courage announces new director Naomi Colvin". Courage Foundation. 4 April 2018. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  10. ^ a b Shane, Scott (23 June 2013). "Offering Snowden Aid, WikiLeaks Gets Back in the Game". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  11. ^ "NSA spy leaks: Edward Snowden leaves Moscow airport". BBC News. 1 August 2013. Archived from the original on 7 October 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  12. ^ "Exclusive: WikiLeaks Editor Sarah Harrison on Helping Edward Snowden, Being Forced to Live in Exile". Democracy Now!. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  13. ^ "Sarah Harrison: SPD ehrt Snowden-Vertraute für "politischen Mut"". Spiegel Online. 17 September 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2016.

External links[edit]