Correct the Record in the Julian #Assange Case – The Daily Mail

From Wikipedia “DMG Media owns the Daily MailMailOnline, the Mail on SundayMetroWowcher, Jobsite and Jobrapido. Its portfolio of national newspapers, websites and mobile and tablet applications regularly reach 55% of the GB adult population: it includes two major paid-for national newspaper titles as well as a free nationally available newspaper.”  It also is one of the three main owners of UK’s PA Media or Press Association, one of the two news  wholesellers in the UK.

It is therefore crucial that WikiLeaks supporters make every effort to set the record straight when articles of that Media Group, particularly online, get it wrong!

I first wrote to the Mail online on the 23rd of May 2019. In their article  “Julian Assange is hit with 17 new charges under the Espionage Act for conspiring with Chelsea Manning – and faces 170 YEARS in prison“, Jennifer Smith writes that “Sweden is also appealing for him to return there on sexual assault charges.”

I explained that this was inaccurate. Julian Assange was never charged in Sweden. I linked to the U.K. Supreme Court clarification confirming that no charges were filed by Sweden against Julian Assange. I also linked the relevant statement of the Swedish Prosecutor from their own website in English: where the words preliminary investigation is mentioned 12 times.

Furthermore I linked to a CNN article where on 13/05/19 the Swedish Prosecutor made clear that he was not charged saying: “I would like to make the following very clear: my decision to re-open the preliminary investigation is not equivalent on whether or not to file an indictment with the courts. This is the matter we’ll have to revisit,” . Finally I politely asked them to replace the word “charges” with “allegations”.

The answer came within 24 hours by their Assistant Editorial Operations Manager, Hannah Grub who wrote back with: 

Thank you for your email and for bringing this matter to our attention. I can confirm that we have amended the article to clarify that charges were not filed in Sweden. We appreciate you taking the time to get in touch.

 

On the 30th of September of the same year I wrote to them again. I pointed out that their article “Spanish private security firm is probed for ‘spying on Wikileaks founder Julian Assange for the CIA’ while he was inside Ecuadorian embassy in London” published stated that:

“The 48-year-old is currently serving 50 weeks behind bars at a top-security prison in Britain for breaching his bail conditions when he fled into the embassy.”

I informed them that Julian Assange completed his sentence on the 22nd of September 2019 and he should have been released, providing a link to a BBC article corroborating the fact that Judge Vanessa Baraitser refused to release him in bail. I asked them to correct this inaccuracy suggesting as a possible text:

“The 48 old having served his bail offence sentence, continues to be imprisoned in Britain on remand awaiting his extradition hearing in February 2020.”

Two days letter their Editorial Manager (Complaints) Ashlee Gagui wrote back with:

“Thank you for your email which has been passed to me for my attention. I can confirm that we have amended our article according to your correction request below. As accuracy is of utmost importance to us, we thank you for bringing this to our attention.”

So although journalists at the Daily Mail are poor fact checkers, there are people within the organisation who take their job very seriously and who deal with inaccuracies in a timely fashion. 

In these difficult times when his very life is on the line it’s important the the media world is aware that smears and inaccuracies are noted by his supporters who are willing to take positive and effective action in his defence. It is the only way to stop them doing it!.

Join the efforts to correct the record in the Julian Assange case!

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