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Julian Assange and WikiLeaks Accused of Censorship by ‘Risk’ Documentarian Laura Poitras

She and the film's producers say they've received legal threats over the film's release.

Julian Assange

More than a month after “Risk” was released in theaters, the documentary’s story continues to evolve. The latest development is especially dramatic: Laura Poitras and the film’s other two producers have published an op-ed in Newsweek accusing Julian Assange and WikiLeaks of censorship.

READ MORE: ‘Risk’ Takes On Julian Assange: The Dramatic Story Behind Laura Poitras’ Oscar Follow-Up

Poitras, Brenda Coughlin and Yoni Golijov write that Assange and WikiLeaks — the subject of their film — have sent cease-and-desist letters to Neon, the distributor of “Risk,” demanding that they stop the film’s release. They find that hypocritical to say the least: “In WikiLeaks’ efforts to prevent the distribution of ‘Risk,’ they are using the very tactics often used against them – legal threats, false security claims, underhanded personal attacks, misdirection – and with the same intentions: to suppress information and silence speech,” they write.

READ MORE: ‘Risk’: Laura Poitras Yanks Screenings For Last-Minute Edits Following New Julian Assange Developments

“All the participants in ‘Risk’ agreed for years to be in the film,” they continue. “We have no obligation to seek WikiLeaks’ or Assange’s authorization to release the film. In fact, our rights under the First Amendment are protected precisely because we are engaging in independent journalism.”

The scope of “Risk” shifted and evolved as new developments came to light. Read the full op-ed here.

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Comments

Kristen

It’s no surprise that Laura Poitras & her producers try to argue with “censorship” and “free speech”, but that’s not the point as far as I understand.

Poitras agreed to certain conditions, when she got the Wikileaks people to participate. There was a contract according to the WikiLeaks’ lawyers that simply wasn’t respected by Poitras.

She showed them a version of her film, that was very different from what was released. That’s called deception.

The op-ed reads like a ‘damage control’ PR statement, because she doesn’t really answer to the points that the WikiLeaks lawyers made. Instead she tries to make herself look good & Assange look bad by attacking him with other stuff.

Fact is, that Poitras didn’t respect a contract & lied to people who trusted her.

And I really have no idea why Poitras seems to think that “Risk” contains anything ‘explosive’ or whatever. She tries to make it sound more interesting than it is.

And as journalism it’s worthless: How do you want to trust a ‘reporter’ that has sex with her subjects & changes her movie at least 3 times before releasing it?

It looks very much like a woman who is angry at her former lover (Jacob Appelbaum) and friends and wants to take revenge. At the same time she tries to make herself look friendly to the American intelligence agencies, so that they stop looking after her.

Laura Poitras has gone all the way: From a non-conformist critic and victim of the surveillance state to the compliant propagandist who helps the CIA do their job.

And Laura looked like such a brave woman…too bad she’s a coward.
Maybe we shouldn’t judge her: She just wants to have a comfortable life.

It’s funny, but also sad.

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