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Wikileaks' Julian Assange Slams Media for Libelous Coverage

- Common Dreams staff

WikiLeaks' Julian Assange said today that he's made 75 official complaints over shoddy reporting of his extradition battle.

Assange claims he has been subjected to inaccurate and libelous media coverage. Assange itemized the complaints in a written statement to Britain's judge-led inquiry into media ethics, which is examining the standards and practices of the UK's scandal-ridden press.

Assange said in a statement released Thursday that he had been subjected to "ongoing, widespread inaccurate and negative media coverage."

Assange wrote: "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 organizations or groups by a failure to maintain high ethical journalistic standards can be severe, consequential and almost insurmountable."

He listed 75 complaints made to the UK's press watchdog over repeated articles reporting that he had been charged with rape when in fact he has only been accused of the offense.

The 40-year-old Australian denies any wrongdoing.

He is waiting to hear the outcome of his appeal to the UK Supreme Court against being extradited to Sweden.

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The Guardian reports:

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has launched an attack on the Press Complaints Commission, claiming he has been subjected to inaccurate and negative media coverage "possibly on a scale not seen since the abuse of the McCanns".

Julian Assange: "Press standards matter"He says the soon-to-be-extinct complaints body stood idly by as he "suffered extensive libels" in the coverage of his battle with Swedish authorities over sexual assault allegations.

Assange, who is out on bail awaiting a British court decision on his appeal against extradition to Sweden, has told the Leveson inquiry says 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".

In a written statement to the inquiry he said his experience with the PCC provides a "unique" case study at the damage that can be wrought by a flawed regulatory system to an individual involved in a "high profile and political" situation.

Assange 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 organizations or groups by a failure to maintain high ethical journalistic standards can be severe, consequential and almost insurmountable."

He told how he complaint about 45 articles in newspapers including the Observer, the Guardian, the Daily Mail, the Independent, the Evening Standard and the Sun, which he referred to "charges" against him or said he was "facing charges" or had been "charged".

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