Parents banned from naming baby WikiLeaks after officials ruled it was potentially harmful

The parents said they chose the name because it is synonymous with truth

Kashmira Gander
Saturday 05 April 2014 05:53

A couple in Germany who wanted to name their baby boy after something that “changed the world” have been banned from calling their child Wikileaks.

Registry officials in the Bavarian town of Passau ruled that naming the child after the whistleblowing website would endanger the baby’s welfare.

The boy’s father, 28-year-old journalist and photographer Hajar Hamalaw, told NBC News "This is not only a simple name for me — it has a big meaning. WikiLeaks has changed the world."

WikiLeaks and its creator Julian Assange gained international notoriety following a series of high-profile leaks, including US diplomatic cables in 2010.

"For my family, the name is a synonym with transparent truth,” he added. “My two-year-old daughter is called 'Diya,' which translates to 'Light of Truth.'“

But the Passau registry office did not agree with Hamalaw and his wife Daria Kareem, who have lived in the town for eight months, and ruled against them using the name on their son’s birth certificate.

Hamalaw added that the registar did not know what WikiLeaks was at first.

"She thought I was presenting the name of a television show," Hamalaw told the US network.

"We were very disappointed after the rejection. Hundreds of people across the globe were allowed to use the name of Barack Obama's dog for their child, but I can't use WikiLeaks?“

While some countries including Saudi Arabia and New Zealand have lists of names that are banned, naming is dealt with on a case-by-case basis in Germany.

Potential names banned in New Zealand include 4Real, Mafia No Fear, and Anal.

A spokesperson for the town of Passau said the decision by the registry office was based on legal rulings which state a child’s name should not be granted if it could endanger their welfare.

“In an initial information session, we told the family that we would have to reject the name based on similar assessments in recent court rulings,” she said.

The couple has since opted to call their son Dako instead, although friends and family members continue to call the baby WikiLeaks, according to CBS News.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in