Washington: Human rights groups have urged
WikiLeaks to redact names of Afghans helping American forces
from thousands of leaked US military documents, leading to a
charged retort from the website's founder, the Wall Street
Journal said on Tuesday.
"We have seen the negative, sometimes deadly
ramifications for those Afghans identified as working for or
sympathising with international forces," said a letter to
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, accoring to the Journal,
citing a person close to the exchange.
"We strongly urge your volunteers and staff to analyze
all documents to ensure that those containing identifying
information are taken down or redacted," said the letter from
Amnesty International, Campaign for Innocent Victims in
Conflict, Open Society Institute, Afghanistan Independent
Human Rights Commission and International Crisis Group.
The message prompted Assange to question what the groups
were themselves doing to examine the 70,000 classified
documents on Afghanistan, which were published by WikiLeaks in
late July, and whether they would be willing to help with the
redaction process, the daily said.
The files contained a string of damaging claims, and
included the names of some Afghan informants, leading to
claims that the leaks have endangered lives.
Amnesty suggested they may be able to provide some
resources to analyse the documents and some 15,000 other files
that WikiLeaks is planning to release, and that Assange and
the rights groups discuss the issue on a conference call.
"I'm very busy and have no time to deal with people who
prefer to do nothing but cover their asses," Assange was
reported to have replied.
"If Amnesty does nothing I shall issue a press release
highlighting its refusal," he said, according to the Journal.
First Published: Tuesday, August 10, 2010, 15:49