01:53 GMT22 February 2020
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    The email sent to the media defends the founder of the project, Julian Assange, who has been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since June 2012 in order to avoid extradition to the US.

    WikiLeaks has sent advice to journalists on Sunday urging them not to report 140 various "false and defamatory" statements about its founder Julian Assange and the project, Reuters reported Monday.

    "There is a pervasive climate of inaccurate claims about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, including purposeful fabrications planted in large and otherwise ‘reputable' media outlets", WikiLeaks said in a message sent to media, marked "Confidential legal communication. Not for publication".

    READ MORE: 'Assange is a Hero': Wikileaks Revealed US Crimes in Conflict Zones — Campaigner

    "Consequently journalists and publishers have a clear responsibility to carefully fact-check from primary sources and to consult the following list to ensure they are not spreading, and have not spread, defamatory falsehoods about WikiLeaks or Julian Assange".

    The message stressed that Assange had never been an "agent or officer of any intelligence service", and had never been employed by the Russian government or had ties with Moscow.

    WikiLeaks also denied claims that Assange had bleached his hair, was a professional hacker, neglected his cat or had problems with personal hygiene.

    Assange previously faced rape and molestation charges in Sweden, which he dismissed as politically motivated. He was detained on the charges in the UK and then released on bail during the proceedings, but skipped bail and sought asylum in Ecuador's Embassy in London in 2012.The charges against him were dropped last year; however, Assange has not left the embassy, as he could still be arrested due to breaching the terms of his bail.


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