Petition For Wikileaks

1. The attacks on Wikileaks are inappropriate

A number of German newspapers, including the national daily Frankfurter Rundschau, have published a joint appeal rejecting any censorship or persecution of the WikiLeaks web site by either governments or commercial interests, or both.

The appeal, published last Thursday, is supported by three other Berlin-based daily newspapers: Tageszeitung, Berliner Zeitung and Taggespiegel. Additional signatories are the widely read news and culture web site, Perlentaucher, the weekly news and culture paper, Der Freitag, and the European Center For Constitutional and Human Rights.

The joint appeal begins by citing the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19, which proclaims: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.

The German media statement declares that the WikiLeaks web site, and the Internet as a whole, is a medium that enjoys precisely the same right to disseminate information as any other form of journalism.

The appeal goes on to declare that while the publication of documents by WikiLeaks can be criticised, “we are against any form of censorship by government or private agencies. If Internet companies can use their market power to prevent a news organization from publishing, this would mean democracy is defeated through economic means. These attacks show a disturbing idea of democracy, where freedom of information exists only for as long as it hurts no one”.

In another significant passage, the statement declares that genuinely independent journalism has an important role to play in uncovering the secret machinations of the state. The appeal states: “The criminalization and prosecution of WikiLeaks goes beyond this individual case. There are calls for preventing the publication of confidential information in such quantities. Indeed, the volume of documents revealed to the public [by WikiLeaks] provide a much deeper insight into state action than former publications in top media. Journalism has not only the right, but the duty, to control the state and to elucidate the mechanisms of governance. It creates transparency. Without transparency, there is no democracy. The state is not an end in itself, and must withstand a confrontation with its own secrets”.

The main demand raised in the appeal is a call “for the persecution of WikiLeaks to stop, as this is in contravention of international law”. The statement concludes with an appeal for support.

Since the appeal’s publication, over 13,300 individuals have signed on to express their support, many providing short texts expressing their anger over the attempts to persecute WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.


The Internet publication platform Wikileaks since the
publication of the secret dispatches to the U.S. Embassy has been under great pressure. In the U.S., Wikileaks leaders are called „terrorists“, some even call for their death. Big international companies like MasterCard, PayPal and Amazon ended their cooperation with Wikileaks – without an indictment being issued against the organization, let alone a conviction. At the same time the technical infrastructure of Wikileaks is under anonymous attacks.. These are attacks on a journalistic medium in response to its publications. It is possible to criticize this publication with good reason, as is the lack of transparency that characterizes the work of the platform. But this is about basics: the censorship of a medium through public or private entities. And on the other hand we turn. If Internet companies use their market power to prevent the press from reporting, would mean to win the economic means of the same democracy. These attacks show a disturbing understanding of democracy, the freedom of information is only existing as long as it hurts no one.

2. Freedom of publication applies to Wikileaks

The evidenced freedom of publication in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a foundation of democratic societies. It applies not only for traditional media like newspapers or television. The Internet is a new form of information dissemination. It must enjoy the same protection as traditional media. It long had been a global outcry if the U.S. would result in an espionage case against the New York Times, a financial crusade against the mirror, or an attack on the server of the Guardian.

3. Right to control the state

The criminalization and prosecution of Wikileaks goes beyond the individual case. The publication is considered confidential information in such quantities as to be prevented. Indeed, the volume of documents to the public a much deeper insight into state action returns as former publications in top mediums. Journalism has not only the right but the duty to control the state and to elucidate the mechanisms of governance. It establishes public. Without publicity there is no democracy. The state is not an end, and must withstand a confrontation with his own secrets. We, the initiators and signatories to demand to stop the persecution of Wikileaks, contrary to international law. We call on all states and all enterprises to the campaign against
to oppose civil rights. We urge all citizens, known or unknown, in political positions or as individuals, to, for setting the campaign against freedom of expression and freedom of information to take action. We invite everyone to participate in the call for media freedom.