WikiLeaks is sick and tired of mainstream media outlets publishing inaccurate and at times defamatory claims about its founder, Julian Assange. So in a recent email to journalists who regularly cover the organization, Wikileaks described 140 “false and defamatory” claims about its founder, who has been living inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London since June 2012.
According to Reuters, WikiLeaks accused the Guardian of publishing a false report about Assange, though it was not immediately clear what specific report prompted the warning. The Guardian has refused to comment on the allegations.
The 5,000 word email claimed it was defamatory to suggest that Assange had ever been an “agent or officer of any intelligence service,” or that he had ever been employed by the Russian government, or that he is – or has been – closely connected with the Russian state.
Some of the claims were more bizarre, like claiming that Assange was a pedophile, rapist, murder or a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Others pertained to personal hygiene, like that Assange bleaches his hair, or has poor grooming habits. They also said it was defamatory to claim that Assange is a hacker or that he is not an Australian citizen.
Assange has remained in the embassy for fear that he could be extradited to the US to face charges stemming from violations of the Espionage Act. According to reports from late last year, the DOJ is preparing to file an indictment of Assange. Meanwhile, speculation that Ecuador could soon withdraw its offer of asylum has been simmering since President Lenin Moreno took over from the seemingly more sympathetic Rafael Correa.
Though the email was marked “not for publication,” a copy leaked online in its entirety.
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