WIKILEAKS PRESS RELEASE. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wed Feb 15 17:00:00 2012 GMT
WikiLeaks denounces UNESCO for banning WikiLeaks from conference about WikiLeaks (February 16-17, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris).
WikiLeaks denounced UNESCO for banning WikiLeaks from tomorrow’s international conference about WikiLeaks. The large two-day conference, which has 37 speakers listed, is to be held UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. US organizers have stacked the conference with WikiLeaks opponents and blocked all speakers from WikiLeaks, stating that the decision to censor WikiLeaks representation was an exercise in ’freedom of expression… our right to give voice to speakers of our choice’.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange denounced the conference: ’UNESCO has made itself an international human rights joke. To use “freedom of expression” to censor WikiLeaks from a conference about WikiLeaks is an Orwellian absurdity beyond words. This is an intolerable abuse of UNESCO’s Constitution. It’s time to occupy UNESCO.’
WikiLeaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson expressed consternation in a letter to UNESCO about the exclusion: ’UNESCO has a duty to assure that fairness and balance is secured in important discussions carried out under the banner of the organization. It is obvious that this will hardly be the case, given the selection of speakers. This is both a disgrace to UNESCO and potentially harmful to WikiLeaks.’
Julian Assange calls for an immediate investigation “UNESCO must conduct a full, frank and open investigation as to how its constitution, which tasks it to promote freedom of expression, freedom of information and freedom of communication, has become a blunt instrument of censorship. UNESCO must demonstrate that cold-war style power-plays, by the United States, or indeed any other country, are no longer acceptable.”