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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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