London: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has attacked the reporting of his extradition case, alleging that press commission did not act on 45 of his complaints while he ”suffered extensive libels” in the coverage.
In a statement to the Leveson Inquiry, Assange claimed he had been subjected to inaccurate and negative media coverage, and alleged that the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) stood idly by as he “suffered extensive libels” in the coverage of his case with Swedish authorities over sexual assault
Assange said in the statement that the PCC found it ”perfectly acceptable for newspapers to say that I had been charged with rape as being ‘charged’ with an offence is seen as the same as a mere allegation”.
He added: “Press standards matter. Those who have been the subject of ongoing, widespread inaccurate and negative media coverage – as I have, possibly on a scale not seen since the abuse of the McCanns – know that the harms created for individuals and small organisations or groups by a failure to maintain high ethical journalistic standards can be severe, consequential and almost insurmountable.”
He said he complained about 45 articles in newspapers including the Observer, the Guardian, the Daily Mail, the Independent, the Evening Standard and the Sun, which had referred to “charges” against him or said he was “facing charges” or had been “charged”.
Assange wrote: “The PCC’s clear failure to enforce proper standards of accuracy and fairness – indeed, its reluctance to act and to adhere to its own guidelines because of the active case against me – comes at a time when, due to the number of other of our legal cases already in play and my grave personal
circumstances under house arrest awaiting a supreme court extradition decision, my ability to achieve justice through libel actions at the moment when they are needed is severely curtailed.”