WikiLeaks on Tuesday released a cache of more than 32,000 e-mails to and from the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs saying they revealed “the inner workings of the Syrian government and economy”.
Dubbed the “Syria Files”, they are part of over two million e-mails from Syrian political figures, ministries and associated companies – dating from August 2006 to March 2012 — which it began publishing in July.
“This extraordinary data set derives from 680 Syria-related entities or domain names, including those of the Ministries of Presidential Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Information, Transport and Culture. At this time Syria is undergoing a violent internal conflict that has killed between 6,000 and 15,000 people in the last 18 months. The Syria Files shine a light on the inner workings of the Syrian government and economy, but they also reveal how the West and Western companies say one thing and do another,” WikiLeaks said
“It helps us not merely to criticise one group or another, but to understand their interests, actions and thoughts. It is only through understanding this conflict that we can hope to resolve it,” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said when his website released the first batch on July 5, 2012.
It related to an Italian firm Finmeccania and its subsidiary Selex which reportedly sold technology to the Syrian police.
WikiLeaks spokesperson Sarah Harrison said at the time that the range of information extended “from the intimate correspondence of the most senior [governing] Baath party figures to records of financial transfers sent from Syrian ministries to other nations”.
Meanwhile, WikiLeaks accused Britain’s broadcasting watchdog Ofcom of being “too close to the industry it is meant to be regulating” after it failed to uphold Mr. Assange’s complaint against Channel 4. He had complained that its programme “WikiLeaks: Secrets & Lies” was grossly biased and an attempt to “smear” WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks said the fact that Ofcom’s Chief Executive Ed Richard previously worked for Channel 4 was “reflected in the regulator’s apparent profound reluctance today to criticise any of the broadcaster’s output”.
“This reluctance is also apparent in both the content of this adjudication and the circumstances of its publication today. Ofcom gave Julian Assange only seven minutes’ notice that the adjudication was about to be published on its website Bulletin Board, in contravention of their own guidelines,” it said.
In a statement, WikiLeaks said it was releasing the full unedited transcript of Mr. Assange’s interview for the programme as well as all other materials submitted for Ofcom’s adjudication “so that the public may judge for themselves the lengths to which the programme makers went to produce a biased and one-sided smear documentary to suit the agenda of their unofficial co-production partners, the Guardian newspaper, and Ofcom’s lack of independence from those it supposedly regulates”.