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Wikileaks, Belarus and Israel Shamir
05 Feb 2011
BY INDEX ON CENSORSHIP

It has been reported that an “accredited” journalist for Wikileaks, Israel Shamir, met with Uladzimri Makei, the Head of the Presidential administration in Belarus. Subsequently, it was reported in the Belarus Telegraf that a state newspaper would be publishing documents about the Belarusian opposition.

Wikileaks has always maintained it takes care to ensure that names of political activists are redacted from cables before publication on its website. Index on Censorship is concerned that some of the Wikileaks cables relating to Belarus that have not appeared on the main Wikileaks website are now in the public domain.

There are various “commercial crimes” in Belarus that make it a criminal offence to run an unregistered organisation. In turn, many NGOs are prohibited from registering their organisations. This places a lot of civil society in Belarus in a legal grey area which can mean political activists, who cannot register, are placed in breach of the law for accepting foreign funding. It is rumoured in Belarus that many of the Wikileaks cables outline foreign support for opposition groups. Our worry is that this information could be used to prosecute some of the political prisoners currently held by the KGB.

In the immediate aftermath of the discredited Belarusian elections, Index on Censorship made repeated attempts to contact Wikileaks in order for them to clarify its relationship with Shamir.

Our correspondence with Wikileaks:

It is reported that Israel Shamir is representing Wikileaks in Russia and Belarus.

The Russian press agency Interfax claim that Shamir met with Vladimir Makei, the Head of Administration for President Lukashenko of Belarus on 19 December.

In an interview with the agency, Shamir confirmed the existence of a Wikileaks’ Belarusian dossier.

Two days later in a press conference, President Lukashenko said this:

“We’re simply going to publish certain documents. We’ll see how those who are published on the Belarusian WikiLeaks site — the supporters [of the opposition] and those who are working behind the scenes — react to this.”

Lukashenko is reported to be setting up a state-sponsored Wikileaks site. At the moment the president’s state administrative apparatus, including the KGB, are attempting to bring prosecutions against members of the opposition including presidential candidates and the staff of independent media source Charter97.

We have unconfirmed reports that Shamir has used his access to the Wikileaks’ US diplomatic cables to aid the prosecution of civil society activists within Belarus.

We would be grateful if you could look into the following, and the following questions:

a) What is the official status of Israel Shamir at Wikileaks?

b) Is it true that Mr Shamir has released additional cables from the US embassy in Minsk (i.e. other than the five already on the website) to the Belarus authorities? If so, do you know which cables?

c) How many cables from the US embassy in Minsk are in Wikileaks’ possession in total?

We are especially concerned that cables which outline funding relationships between foreign bodies and the Belarusian government may be used to prosecute opposition activists for “commercial crimes”; therefore could you answer the following 2 questions:

d) Other than the five cables already released on the website, can these be provided to Index on Censorship and or other groups? If so, which cables and when will they be available and to whom?

e) Have any of the cables relating to Belarus been redacted by WikiLeaks?

Index on Censorship, as you know, has been broadly supportive of Wikileaks on the question of free expression and freedom of information. Our overall mission is to promote free expression and safeguard the rights of those seeking to exercise their free expression. The actions of the Belarus government, by any standards violate those freedoms.

We look forward to hearing from you as a matter of urgency.

Wikileaks response:

A representative of Wikileaks responded, ‘We have no further reports on this “rumour/issue”. Another Wikileaks representative told Index “obviously it is not approved”.

22 responses to “Wikileaks, Belarus and Israel Shamir”

  1. […] December 2010. This allegation / distortion originated in that article and was then placed on the Index on Censorship‘s website, in the New Statesman, and elsewhere. Later on the same day that Andrew Brown […]

  2. […] to the London-based Index on Censorship, Shamir later travelled to Belarus and met with regime officials such as Vladimir Makei, […]

  3. […] reported that he had met with Uladzimri Makei, Head of the Belarusian President’s Administration. There is a concern that Wikileaks cables concerning opposition groups may have been brought to the attention of the […]

  4. […] that he had met with Uladzimri Makei, Head of the Belarusian President’s Administration. There is a concern that Wikileaks cables concerning opposition groups may have been brought to the attention of the […]

  5. […] that he had met with Uladzimri Makei, Head of the Belarusian President’s Administration, and there is a concern that Wikileaks cables concerning opposition groups may have been brought to the attention of the […]

  6. […] to the London-based Index on Censorship, Shamir later travelled to Belarus and met with regime officials such as Vladimir Makei, […]

  7. […] Shamir försvarade Lukasjenkos våld mot oppositionen efter valet i vintras och ska ha läckt amerikanskt diplomatmaterial till den vitryska regimen och på så sätt satt den vitryska oppositionen i […]

  8. […] used to like Wikileaks, however, their involvement with Israel Shamir sent shivers down my spine and now I find the adoration of Assange to be rather […]

  9. […] a mealy-mouthed statement distancing WikiLeaks from its freelancers was issued. Still later, when damning evidence emerged that Shamir had handed cables material to the dictator of Belarus – a man he holds in high esteem […]

  10. […] a mealy-mouthed statement distancing WikiLeaks from its freelancers was issued. Still later, when damning evidence emerged that Shamir had handed cables material to the dictator of Belarus – a man he holds in high esteem […]

  11. […] a mealy-mouthed statement distancing WikiLeaks from its freelancers was issued. Still later, when damning evidence emerged that Shamir had handed cables material to the dictator of Belarus – a man he holds in high esteem […]

  12. […] order to protect activists and dissidents living under authoritarian regimes. Early this year Index expressed its concern to Wikileaks over reports that unredacted documents had been made available to the Belarusian […]

  13. […] and its supposedly “Jewish” editors. (Assange had already employed a known Holocaust denier who feeds the dictator of Belarus WikiLeaked information on that luckless country’s political […]

  14. […] his arsenal of data and handed him one of the weapons, which Shamir has been using to support the regime in Belarus against its […]

  15. […] The following year, Hanna baptised Israel Shamir, now notorious for his anti-Jewish ramblings and controversial for his role “representing Wikileaks in Russia and […]

  16. mtex says:

    As I pointed out on my blog, David Ross, who I was told finances Counterpunch, is the fake Jewish name of HRH Prince Max. The wife of HRH, Dr. Suzy Block who claims to be Jewish and was taken to task for that claim, also writes articles for Counterpunch. Apparently it’s a habit in the Counterpunch milieu to adopt fake Jewish names/identities. Isn’t it interesting that HRH Prince Max and Dr. Block both claim Jewish identities only to have an anti-semite like Shamir write for their publication?

    So Counterpunch, where Assange has also published in the past (and has a lot of vocal support), is financed by “David Ross”, which I have been told is the alter ego of HRH Prince Max, the man who threatened to take down my blog for simply *quoting* from another blog that exposed him. Back then, I didn’t know about the Assange-Counterpunch connection, and thought I could leak the police records, that were the factual basis of the article I had quoted from and that HRH Prince Max was desperately trying to suppress, to WL (then Assange was caught molesting women, and that put the break on my forays into leaking).

    Imagine, I was going to leak about the guy (HRH) who went after my blog to the guy (Assange) who wrote FOR the publication (Counterpunch) of the very same guy (HRH) who tried to censor my blog in the first place! This whole leaking thing disintegrates right there.

    I can already imagine what would’ve happened if I leaked the police files via WL: Assange would have contacted Counterpunch and said:

    “Hey, David, did you know this girl is trying to leak police records via us at WL about you sexually harassing your daughter?”

    David to Assange: “If you put these police record up on WL, you can never publish with us at Counterpunch again. In fact, Counterpunch will never publish a single article in support of WL ever again.”

    Assange to David: “Dave, I want us to be friends, I don’t want to lose Counterpunch as a publishing medium. I am going to delete these police records she is trying to leak with us at once.”

    Tex.

  17. Karl Pfeifer says:

    “Shamir”s name is now Adam Ermash. He is changing in Sweden quite frequently his name.
    “Shamir” is not only a darling of the extreme right, a good friend of German Neonazi Horst Mahler but also publishes his articles on the extreme left and pro-Palestinian USA weekly “counterpunch”.

  18. AbeBird says:

    Israel Shamir, who also writes under the names of Schmerlin, Robert David, Vassili Krasevsky and Jöran Jermas is not a Jew nopr an Israeli.

    Shamir is apparently a right-wing Russian journalist, who pretends to be an Israeli Jewish leftist. He claims to live in Jaffa, and may well have a home there, but he also seems to live in Sweden. He uses a Swedish email address, and his website used to be hosted there. His son was deported from Israel to Sweden, and when Shamir tried to sell Nazi memorabilia to David Irving, he wrote to him from 16 Dalagatan, Stockholm, phone and fax (468) 335186.

    Much of his writings, making clear his anti-Judaism, his contempt for Jews and the Jewish religion, his racism towards non-whites, his anti-feminism, his opposition to democracy, his proselytizing Christian evangelism and other attitudes; but the problem is not simply that his views are extreme, obnoxious, and offensive. It is that he, his writings, his views, and his actions, are a positive obstacle to the movement, which needs to build in support of a unitary, democratic and secular Palestine.

  19. […] in Belarus. Subsequently, it was reported in the Belarus Telegraf that a state … wikileaks – Google Blog Search The WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEW BLOG — Special Weekend Edition! – The Nation. […]

  20. […] the rest here: Index on Censorship » Blog Archive » Wikileaks, Belarus and Israel … Share and […]

  21. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Press Freedom, Index on Censorship, Michael Hirschler, Media Freedom , wikileaks reports and others. wikileaks reports said: #wikileaks Index on Censorship » Blog Archive » Wikileaks, Belarus and Israel …: It has been reported that an … http://bit.ly/ezQOj7 […]