WikiLeaks Director Gavin MacFadyen Has Died, Publication Posts Tribute [Breaking]

WikiLeaks Director and founder of the Centre for Investigative Journalism Gavin MacFadyen has died. WikiLeaks confirmed on their official Twitter account that the journalist had passed by posting a tribute to the man they say is now taking "his fists and his fight to battle God."

The publication announced the death of the beloved director by posting a photo and tribute to their Twitter account. The message was signed "JA" indicating that it came directly from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange; however, it is currently unknown at this time how Assange gained internet access as he recently had his access cut by the Ecuadorian Embassy over potential election "interference" charges.

WikiLeaks also posted a statement from MacFadyen's wife, Susan Benn, to the social media account.

The statement was published on MacFadyen's Centre for Investigative Journalism and noted that the late husband was a "fierce defender of justice and human rights around the world." Susan notes that Gavin was a strong force behind the changing journalism landscape and that he was committed to ethical yet hard-hitting reporting.
"His commitment to exposing the true nature of power was his life force. 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. He once said 'Good journalism is always political journalism.'"
Susan went on to detail her husband's long history before founding TCIJ, noting he has always been committed to investigative journalism. She called his body of work in the investigative field "unparalleled," revealing he had been banned from Apartheid South Africa, the Soviet Union, and was attacked by Neo-Nazis for his investigative films.
"Gavin was one of life's bravest, most passionate and courageous souls. Prior to CIJ, as an investigative journalist, Gavin produced and directed more than 50 investigative documentaries, many for Granada Television's World In Action. They covered countries as diverse as Britain, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Guyana, South Africa, Mexico, Hong Kong, Thailand, the U.S., Sweden, India and Turkey. He was banned from Apartheid South Africa, the Soviet Union, and attacked by British Neo-Nazis because of his films. The volume and quality of his body of work is unparalleled."
WikiLeaks noted that Gavin MacFadyen was a "mentor" to Julian Assange and that he also mentored many other WikiLeaks journalists.TCIJ also posted a tribute to MacFadyen noting they were "extremely sad" to announce their founder's death.Other tributes to the pioneering journalist have poured in on Twitter including one from hacktivist organization Anonymous.The cause of death has not been released. However, in the original post from wife Susan, the statement indicated he passed away from "a short illness." The line about the "short illness" was removed and no further word has been given on his exact cause of death. However, postings indicate he may have been ill in the days leading up to his death.

[Featured Image via Lennart Preiss/ AP Photo]