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23 March 2011

New Statesman and Frontline Club present debate with Julian Assange

Assange will take part in his first adversarial debate since the release of the WikiLeaks cables.

By Ryan Gallagher

This house believes whistleblowers make the world a safer place
Saturday 9 April 2011, 5pm, Kensington Town Hall

Join the Frontline Club and New Statesman for a provocative public debate featuring Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, speaking for the proposition in his first adversarial debate since the release of the WikiLeaks cables.

Over the past 12 months, official secrecy has been challenged like never before. Three of the biggest ever leaks of classified information – the Iraq War Logs, the Afghanistan War Logs and Cablegate – shook the world and prompted governments to reconsider how they share information.

Since the start of the Obama administration in 2009, the US government has brought charges against five defendants suspected of leaking classified information. Before Obama, the US government had only ever filed similar charges three times in 40 years.

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For this very special event at Kensington Town Hall, the New Statesman and the Frontline Club host a challenging debate in which some of the most prominent public figures on secrecy and transparency issues will go head to head.

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Amid the intensifying crackdown on whistleblowers, the debate will ask: are UK and US officials correct to argue that those who publish leaks threaten national security? Or do we need them to expose wrongdoing because, as transparency advocates argue, governments always abuse secrecy?

The event will feature an interactive section where the audience will be able to vote on the motion.

Chair: Jason Cowley, editor of the New Statesman.

Other panellists to be confirmed imminently.

All tickets are now sold out. We are doing our best to try and offer more tickets to the public. If you register for the waiting list for this event we will be able to get in touch as soon as possible with further announcements and let you know if it will be possible to purchase further tickets. Register for the waiting list here.

For any other inquiries contact events@frontlineclub.com – or call 020 7479 8940

For media and press inquiries please contact events@newstatesman.co.uk – or call 020 7936 6456