WikiLeaks party under fire for Assad talks

2013-12-31 17:09
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - Whistleblowing group WikiLeaks said on Tuesday it had no knowledge of and did not approve a delegation to Syria which met President Bashar Assad and included members of Australia's WikiLeaks Party.

The delegation, aimed at showing solidarity with the Syrian people and opposing Western military intervention, reportedly included WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's father John Shipton, CEO of the political party.

The group met with Assad on 23 December, according to a post on the Syrian president's Twitter feed.

The visit triggered a furore when revealed in Australia on Tuesday, with the centre-left Labour opposition describing it as "extraordinary" and "irresponsible".

"The Assad regime has been widely criticised and correctly criticised around the world," said Labour frontbencher Chris Bowen.

"For an Australian political party to think it's sensible to go and have discussions and try and provide some legitimacy, is something I think which they have to explain."

The WikiLeaks Party was founded by Assange as part of his failed campaign for election to Australia's parliament this year, but is distinct from the amorphous whistleblowing group.

Solidarity

WikiLeaks distanced itself from the delegation when asked about it on Tuesday.

"Peace brokering a good idea, but obvious meeting would be spun without care. Did not know or approve," it said on its official Twitter feed.

According to The Australian newspaper, the delegation included Shipton and WikiLeaks national council member Gail Malone, as well as Sydney university academic Tim Anderson and refugee activist Jamal Daoud.

Shipton announced plans to set up a WikiLeaks Party office in Damascus in a show of solidarity with ordinary Syrians, The Australian said.

The WikiLeaks Party said a "formal report from the fact finding delegation will be published once the delegates return to Australia", in a brief statement on its Twitter feed.

In a 22 December website post announcing it would take part in the "solidarity delegation", the WikiLeaks Party said the visit was to show opposition to violence and Western military intervention.

Fabrications and lies

"The WikiLeaks Party was the first party in Australia to warn of the deadly consequences of any Western military intervention in Syria", the post said.

"It went further by questioning the credibility of the excuses of such intervention based on unsubstantiated reports of the Syrian Army's use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians.

"The same excuses", which turned out to be "no more than fabrications and lies" had been used to justify the US-led war in Iraq, the party said.

Disarmament teams returned Scandinavian escort vessels to port on Monday after it became apparent that an end-of-year deadline for the removal of Syrian chemical weapons would not be met.

The US-Russia deal for Syria to surrender more than 1 000 tonnes of chemical agents averted US-led military strikes after a chemical weapons attack on 21 August near Damascus that the United States says killed 1 400 people.

Read more on:    twitter  |  wikileaks  |  julian assange  |  bashar assad  |  syria  |  australia  |  syrian conflict
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

SA political parties go to church

Leaders of different political parties have attended a church service at the Tyrannus Apostolic Church in De Deur.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia Lumia 800

The stunningly social Nokia Lumia 800 features head-turning design, ...

From R2395.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.