"Following WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s arrest by the British police today, Reporters Without Borders urges you to guarantee respect for his defence rights despite the extreme tension surrounding this case," Jean-François Julliard, secretary-general of Reporters Without Borders said in a letter sent on December 7th to The Rt. Hon. Kenneth Clarke MP, UK's Secretary of State for Justice.
Julliard further called for the British judicial system to be allowed to examine Mr. Assange’s case with all the required impartiality and without it being subjected to any external governmental pressure.
"The authorities of certain countries seem to want to obtain Mr. Assange’s conviction or at least to prevent him from continuing his activities in order to put a stop to WikiLeaks’ revelations, without regard to freedom of information. We would like to point out that WikiLeaks has played a useful role by publicizing serious human rights violations that were committed in the name of the “war against terror” during the past decade," the head of Reporters Without Borders noted.
"Reporters Without Borders has repeatedly condemned the blocking, cyber-attacks and political pressure being directed at WikiLeaks. This is the first time we have seen an attempt at the international level to censor a website dedicated to the principle of transparency," Julliard concluded.
PS: This is the first serious human rights and media freedom organization to voice concern over Assange's arrest. I wonder if Amnesty International, Freedom House and others will follow?