Assange to Obama: Stop 'The Witch Hunt' Now!

Assange Wikileaks Embassy President
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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has called on President Obama to end a "witch hunt" against his secret-spilling website, after appearing in public for the first time since he took refuge inside Ecuador's embassy in London two months ago.

The 41-year-old Australian was on Thursday granted asylum by Ecuador as he seeks to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over sexual misconduct allegations.

"I ask President Obama to do the right thing, the United States must renounce its witch hunt against WikiLeaks," Assange said Sunday, speaking from a small balcony.

He also called on the U.S. to release Pfc. Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier who has been charged with aiding the enemy by passing the secret files to WikiLeaks and is awaiting trial.

Assange's appearance provided his first comment since Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said was aimed at sheltering the Assange from any future attempt by the United States to prosecute the activist over his WikiLeaks work.

"I am here today because I cannot be there today," Assange said, referring to a crowd in the street below.

Britain has said it will not grant Assange safe passage out of the U.K., insisting that it must follow the law and deliver him to Sweden on a binding European arrest warrant.

Embassy officials told CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata last week that they have repeatedly offered Swedish investigators opportunities to question Assange at the embassy, but those offers have been turned down.

While Assange remains inside Ecuador's embassy — which is protected by diplomatic privileges — he is out of reach of British authorities ( via ).

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