Assange calls for end of “war on whistleblowers”
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has broken his silence after spending nearly two months holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Speaking from a first-floor balcony at the embassy as British police stood guard beneath him, Mr Assange called on the US government to give up its “witch-hunt” against WikiLeaks.
Mr Assange has sought asylum with Ecuador after a British court ordered that he can be extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations.
Mr Assange claims the sexual assault charges are a ruse and the United States will try to extradite him once he is in Sweden to face charges relating to the release of thousands of classified diplomatic cables.
US politicians have made no secrets of their desire to bring WikiLeaks’ operations to a close, and Mr Assange says as long as the organisation remains under threat, “so does the freedom of expression and the health of all of our societies”.
“I ask [US president Barack Obama] to do the right thing: the United States must renounce its witch-hunt against WikiLeaks,” he said.
“There must be no more foolish talk about prosecuting any media organisation, be it WikiLeaks or The New York Times.
“The US war on whistleblowers must end.”
The British government has threatened to revoke Ecuador’s diplomatic status so that police can enter the embassy and arrest Mr Assange.
There were suggestions that the WikiLeaks founder would make his address from the embassy’s doorstep; however, authorities had warned he could be arrested, because that area is not considered Ecuadorian territory.
good speech..i dont like this guy but i will support his efforts to be treated correctly..keep in mind manning has been held for 800 days without trial..this has a got a long way to go to play out..