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Updated: June 6, 2011 03:11 IST

WikiLeaks has caused no harm: Assange

Hasan Suroor
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Jullian Assange.
The Hindu
Jullian Assange.

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, on Sunday said there was no evidence that the material released by his organisation had caused “physical harm” to anyone.

Defending its right to publish official secrets, he said it took care to balance that right with “any impact that might come from what we publish”.

“We are an organisation with the goal of justice. We balance that right with any impact that might come from what we publish. So far there has been no official claim that anyone has come to harm,” he said answering questions at the Hay Literary Festival in Wales.

Mr. Assange accused Britain of “squeamishness” in its attitude towards the “Arab spring” saying its risk-averse approach was not helpful to the people fighting dictatorships.

“There's a certain mildbrow squeamishness in the [British] population. It would rather destroy an entire revolution, it would rather keep a country in dictatorship than risk being blamed for the tiniest thing,” he said.

Mr. Assange credited WikiLeaks with “shaping the path of some of those [revolutions]”.

“Amnesty International, in its 50th anniversary report a few weeks ago, dedicated approximately the first five pages to what happened with us and the Arab spring. It looked like we played a significant role in it,” he said.

Some in the audience asked him what he was doing to protect Bradley Manning, the young American soldier languishing in jail over allegations of leaking secret documents to him.

“He's yours, Bradley Manning,” said Jon Snow, the left-wing Channel 4 broadcaster and a WilkiLeaks supporter.

Mr. Assange said while Mr. Manning had his support there were “other” people also who were being held without their names being publicly disclosed.

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