UK & World News

  • 24 January 2013, 8:44

Assange Slams Wikileaks Film As 'Propaganda'

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says a Hollywood film about his controversial website is a "massive propaganda attack" against the whistle-blowing organisation.

The film - The Fifth Estate - which is due to be released in the US in November, stars Sherlock Holmes star Benedict Cumberbatch as the internet activist.

Assange, who is wanted in Sweden for questioning on sex allegations - which he denies - has been granted political asylum by Ecuador and has spent the last seven months holed-up in its London embassy.

Addressing the Oxford Union via a videolink from the capital on Wednesday night, he revealed he had acquired a script of the movie which has now begun filming.

It traces the early days of the WikiLeaks site as he sought to bring confidential information into the public domain.

But Assange said Dreamworks was spending millions of dollars on the film, which he said was "fanning the flames" of war against Iran.

Reading from the script, he said the opening scene was inside a military complex in Iran, with documents containing nuclear symbols.

The suggestion is that Iran is working on an atomic weapon, said Assange.

He added: "How does this have anything to do with us? It is a lie upon lie. The movie is a massive propaganda attack on WikiLeaks and the character of my staff."

The film's director Bill Condon said: "It may be decades before we understand the full impact of WikiLeaks and how it's revolutionised the spread of information.

"So this film won't claim any long view authority on its subject, or attempt any final judgement.

"We want to explore the complexities and challenges of transparency in the information age and, we hope, enliven and enrich the conversations WikiLeaks has already provoked."

Assange spent over an hour talking to the union.

A rumoured protest against Assange failed to materialise, with only supporters standing outside the building in Oxford where an awards ceremony was held.