The founder of Wikileaks has revealed that he is to submit an application for a Swedish publishing licence. Julian Assange wants the utgivingsbevis in order to guarantee that the controversial website is covered by the country’s whistleblower protection laws. According to some legal experts, the organisation, which publishes secret leaked documents without revealing its sources, may not be covered by the press protection legislation unless it obtains a licence.
Assange said he will try for the protection, despite doubts about whether it would be sufficient. “We’re dealing with organisations that don’t obey the law. We’re dealing with intelligence agencies,” he said in an interview with news agency TT.
Assange went on to praise Sweden for championing freedom of expression. “Sweden is vital for our work. We have had long-term support from the Swedish people and the Swedish legal system. Our servers were initially based in the United States and moved to Sweden early on in 2007,” he said.
“There’s actually a small industry in Sweden; a new sort of refugee exists in the world, which is publishers. It is I think something for Swedes to be quite proud of: that they are facilitating a strong and free press.”
The Pentagon recently demanded that Wikileaks halts the publication of 70,000 leaked classified documents relating to the US-led war in Afghanistan. Assange has, however, vowed to release another 15,000 documents over the internet.
“We understand that there are no easy choices for this organisation. We have a duty to get the truth out to the world; the truth out to the Afghan people. We have a duty to people who are mentioned in the material. We have a duty to our sources, and it has hard to balance all those duties. It is a very expensive and difficult process,” he said.