Assange to Obama: Stop 'The Witch Hunt' Now!
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.
Sources and more information:
print The US has said that it does not recognise the concept of 'diplomatic asylum' after Ecuador allowed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to remain in Quito's embassy in London. Washington also came down hard on the move to convene a meeting of the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States to consider the Assange issue.
- Ecuadorian president defended his country's "sovereign" decision to grant Assange political asylum. - He added that Assange risked life in prison if extradited to the United States. - The U.S. government on Friday refused to recognize the diplomatic asylum. Ecuador's President Rafael Correa attends to a radio interview in Quito, capital of...
( via cbsnews.com )
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