By Rakesh Raman
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has been facing severe opposition aimed at gagging his dissenting voice, is active again after keeping a low profile during the past few months.
This time, he has chosen Russia to launch his “revealing missiles” against the corrupted world polity.
“The World Tomorrow,” an exclusive new project by Assange, will premiere on Russia’s RT channels on April 17. The new series will be simultaneously broadcast from Moscow across RT’s three channels in English, Arabic and Spanish, and from Washington, DC on RT America.
Incidentally, April 17th also marks the 500th day of the international blockade of Wikileaks funding. “We are forced to put all our efforts into raising funds to ensure our economic survival. For almost a year we have been fighting an unlawful financial blockade,” informs Wikileaks website.
The RT show was filmed in London, where Assange (pictured above) has remained under house arrest for over a year, without being officially charged. The series sees Assange, the series creator and host, engage with a wide range of global notables – in his opinion, those shaping the global agenda of tomorrow.
Assange’s top-secret guest list includes “figures…who normally simply would not be given a voice on TV at all. What is fair to say is that the majority of what they have said to me they could not say on a mainstream TV network,” Assange explains.
Big trouble for Wikileaks, a not-for-profit media organization that releases classified information for public consumption, began in November 2010 when it published 251,287 leaked United States embassy cables (communications).
It was stated to be the largest set of confidential documents ever to be released into the public domain. The documents informed people around the world about US Government’s covert foreign activities. (Read: Wikileaks Leaks Out Secret US Embassy Cables)
Later, believed to be under US Government’s pressure, Wikileaks’ major corporate partners severed their relations with the site to disrupt its activities aimed to expose the wrongdoings of various governments around the world. (Read: Wikileaks: All Leaks are being Plugged)
Most governments that felt uncomfortable with Wikileaks’ revelations, which brought out the truth in the public domain through Wikileaks website, mounted their pressure against Assange to stop his advancing strides against them.
After multiple attempts to disrupt Wikileaks website, Assange was charged with a rape allegation in Sweden. He has been trying to defend, saying that he is being falsely indicted in the case.
In November 2011, however, Assange lost the case in a British high court that ruled he should be extradited to Sweden to fight his case related to rape allegations. And he was put under house arrest. (Read: Sweden vs. Assange: Justice will Prevail…)
So, RT decided to make the show with Assange in London.
“We do not want to kill the buzz and the intrigue by revealing the name of the first guest,” stated RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan. “But I have no doubts that this particular guest and this interview will lead to calls to shut us down from some especially hawkish personalities who have little respect for freedom of speech.”
Assange explained why he chose RT to premiere “The World Tomorrow.” “When we look at international networks there’s really only two that are worth speaking about, and that’s RT and Al Jazeera,” noted Assange. “When we were looking what international broadcaster…we wished to partner with, we looked to see what was the penetration into the United States. RT had greater penetration into the United States.”
RT, a global international news network that broadcasts in English, Arabic and Spanish from its studios in Moscow and Washington, DC, is available to 480 million viewers, or 25% of all cable subscribers, worldwide, it says. It also has a strong viewership on YouTube.
In 2010, RT became the first ever Russian channel to garner a nomination for the prestigious Emmy International Award, in the News category. RT streams online at the network’s website RT.com.
Photo courtesy: RT
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