Worried about a backlash over Julian Assange during its lavish 2019 “Media Freedom” event, emails show the Foreign Office monitored activity online, developed “lines to take” and warned “we should be ready,” reports John McEvoy.
By John McEvoy
The U.K.’s treatment of Julian Assange posed a public relations problem for the Foreign Office’s media freedom campaign, files seen by Declassified U.K. show.
The conference was held just months after WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange was dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
He was transferred to Belmarsh prison, “the closest comparison in the United Kingdom to Guantánamo,” as a U.K. parliamentary report has described it.
Addressing the media conference, then foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt declared: “If we act together, we can shine a spotlight on abuses and impose a diplomatic price on those who would harm journalists or lock them up for doing their jobs.”
‘We Should Be Ready’