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WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange: Western Media Are Liars

First Posted: 09/01/11 08:20 PM ET Updated: 11/01/11 06:12 AM ET

Assange Wikileaks
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks from a large screen to an audience in a São Paulo hotel.

By Leonardo Cruz and Roberto Dias

The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, accused the Western press of omitting information and lying. "Media organizations that proudly tell the public that they seek the truth are liars," declared Assange in the opening of the event InfoTrends in São Paulo this Thursday.

Under house arrest in London, he delivered a lecture by video conference. In the lecture, his main target were two of the newspapers with which WikiLeaks made its first agreements to publish the confidential diplomatic cables.

"The media groups of the West, The New York Times and The Guardian, but especially The Guardian, broke our agreements, removing crimes from the telegrames that were released to the public," accused Assange.

The activist cited as an example the package of telegrams about Bulgaria that the English newspaper recently published. "The Guardian cut two thirds of the documents, hid from the Bulgarian population basic information about the corruption of its government.

"In our negotiations with The New York Times and The Guardian, we constantly saw the difference between what the population wants and the angles that are chosen by media groups. The population is much less conservative," added Assange.

Assange began his speech by challenging the reasons for his arrest in London. "I was never accused of anything, including rape. I have been detained 267 days without having been accused of anything," said the activist, who is accused of sexual assault in Sweden.

In this context, he pointed to a supposed failure of the institutions: "The people believe that there exists a rule of law in the West. The rule of the law is collapsing. The basic structures of the Western governments are falling."

Cross-posted from Folha.com, translated by Clare Richardson.

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Filed by Clare Richardson  |