Stop advocating Assange’s death – WikiLeaks to US

11 Jan 2011

Stop advocating the assassination of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a press release by whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks posted on microblogging site Twitter says.

WikiLeaks has come under scrutiny recently, since the site published US embassy cables and Assange has been accused of sex crimes. He is currently free on bail and under house arrest in the UK.

“Julian Assange is not an American citizen and he has no constitutional rights. So, there’s no reason that the CIA can’t kill him,” said political blogger John Hawkins as one example.

“Moreover, ask yourself a simple question: If Julian Assange is shot in the head tomorrow or if his car is blown up when he turns the key, what message do you think that would send about releasing sensitive American data?”

WikiLeaks has responded to such statements, saying in the press release its “staff and contributors have … been the target of unprecedented violent rhetoric by US prominent media personalities.”

Statement by Julian Assange

Assange himself released a statement, saying, “No organisation anywhere in the world is a more devoted advocate of free speech than WikiLeaks, but when senior politicians and attention-seeking media commentators call for specific individuals or groups of people to be killed they should be charged with incitement — to murder. Those who call for an act of murder deserve as significant share of the guilt as those raising a gun to pull the trigger …

“We call on US authorities and others to protect the rule of law by aggressively prosecuting these and similar incitements to kill. A civil nation of laws can not have prominent members of society constantly calling for the murder and assassination of other individuals or groups.”

Tina Costanza