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US trying to suppress evidence of human rights abuses: Assange

The WikiLeaks has alleged that the US had rejected its offer for constructive dialogue and accused it of trying to suppress evidence of human rights abuses and other criminal behavior, saying Washington's concerns were "entirely fanciful."

world Updated: Nov 29, 2010 16:42 IST

The WikiLeaks has alleged that the US had rejected its offer for constructive dialogue and accused it of trying to suppress evidence of human rights abuses and other criminal behavior, saying Washington's concerns were "entirely fanciful."

"I understand that the United States government would prefer not to have the information that will be published in the public domain and is not in favour of openness," WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief, Julian Assange, said in a letter to Louis B Susman, the US Ambassador to Britain. The letter was in response to the one written by the State Department to WikiLeaks on Saturday asking it not to publish classified US documents.

"You have chosen to respond in a manner which leads me to conclude that the supposed risks are entirely fanciful and you are instead concerned to suppress evidence of human rights abuse and other criminal behaviour," Assange said.

We will not engage in a negotiation regarding the further release or dissemination of illegally obtained US Government classified materials, Harold Hongju Koh, Legal Adviser, State Department said in a letter to Jennifer Robinson, Attorney for Julian Assange, WikiLeaks.

This was in response to the communication from WikiLeaks a day earlier in which the whistle blower website informed the US about its intentions to publish classified US Government documents. "Despite your stated desire to protect those lives, you have done the opposite and endangered the lives of countless individuals.

You have undermined your stated objective by disseminating this material widely, without redaction, and without regard to the security and sanctity of the lives your actions endanger," Koh said in his letter, which was released to the press late Saturday night, ahead of the possible release of such classified documents.

"WikiLeaks has absolutely no desire to put individual persons at significant risk of harm, nor do we wish to harm the national security of the United States," Assange said in his letter on Sunday.

"WikiLeaks have spent significant time and resources redacting the material in our possession to achieve this outcome and sought to cross check our work and that of our traditional media partners with the US government," he said.

"I wrote to you explicitly with this in mind in order to offer the US the opportunity to privately nominate specific instances where this may occur. Instead of eliminating the risk you allege to lives and military operations you have rejected our offer for constructive dialogue and chosen a confrontational approach," he said.