WikiLeaks founder tells US to open up on Iraq war

Last Updated: Thursday, November 4, 2010 - 22:10

Geneva: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
called on Thursday on the United States to open up "instead of
covering up" after the website`s release of secret US
documents detailing abuses committed during the Iraq war.

Assange pledged to carry on publishing exposes on
various countries, including the United States, in keeping
with the whistleblowing site`s bid since 2007 to publish
secret and important information.
"It is time the United States opened up instead of
covering up. The US is in danger of losing its way," he told
journalists in Geneva, pointing to a "proud" US tradition of
freedom of information.

"The law means nothing if the law is not upheld by a
government," he added.

Assange was due to attend a session of the 47 member
UN Human Rights Council in the Swiss city tomorrow which will
conduct its first ever periodic review on tomorow of the
United States` rights record.

WikiLeaks last month published an unprecedented
400,000 classified US documents on the Iraq war and posted
77,000 secret US files on the Afghan conflict in July.

It argues the release of the documents has shed light
on the wars, including allegations of torture by Iraqi forces
and reports that suggested 15,000 additional civilian deaths
in the Iraq conflict.
Assange insisted that there had been no sign of an
investigation into the substance of the leaked documents by
the United States even though other countries such as Britain
and Denmark had moved to do so.

Instead, he said the website and those working with it
had been threatened and ordered by the Pentagon to quash
information.

"That is an extraordinary demand and threat," Assange
claimed.

"I find myself, and our organisation finds itself, in
the rather unusual position of being both expert witness to
human rights abuses committed by the United States government
in various areas and a victim of some those abuses
ourselves," he added, flanked by two bodyguards.

Assange said staff or people "affiliated" to the
website were under pressure or had been detained.

US officials have accused the organisation of
endangering the lives of troops and civilians who worked with
US-led forces by revealing secret files, and have denied
turning a blind eye on prisoner abuse.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, November 4, 2010 - 22:10

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