Assange: Don't shoot the messenger
Governments around the world must not "shoot the messenger" by attacking disclosures by WikiLeaks, Julian Assange has said.
The former computer hacker said his whistle-blowing website deserves protection and has not cost a single life despite the claims of critics.
Writing for The Australian newspaper, Mr Assange quoted its founder, Rupert Murdoch, as once saying the truth will inevitably win over secrecy.
He said: "Nearly a century later, WikiLeaks is also fearlessly publishing facts that need to be made public."
Mr Assange said WikiLeaks has coined "scientific journalism" that allows readers to study the original evidence for themselves.
He added: "Democratic societies need a strong media and WikiLeaks is part of that media. The media helps keep government honest.
"WikiLeaks has revealed some hard truths about the Iraq and Afghan wars, and broken stories about corporate corruption."
The campaigner denied he is anti-war, but said Governments must tell the truth about their reasons for fighting. He claimed the United States, supported by its "acolytes", has attacked WikiLeaks instead of other media groups because it is "young and small".
Branding the website "underdogs", he accused Australia Prime Minister Julia Gillard of "disgraceful pandering" to the Americans. "The Gillard government is trying to shoot the messenger because it doesn't want the truth revealed, including information about its own diplomatic and political dealings," he said.
Meanwhile, Assange has been remanded in custody by a court in London ahead of a full extradition hearing over claims he sexually assaulted two women in Sweden.