Assange to US: End WikiLeaks ‘Witch-Hunt’

Posted August 19th, 2012 at 12:40 pm (UTC-5)
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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange accused the United States of conducting a “witch-hunt” during his first public appearance in two months on Sunday.

The activist – whose organization released hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. cables – spoke from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has taken refuge.

Assange is wanted in Sweden for questioning on sexual misconduct allegations. The activist has said he fears Sweden will allow the United States to extradite him for his WikiLeaks work.

Assange angered the U.S. when he began posting thousands of classified U.S. documents on his WikiLeaks website in 2010.

He accused Washington of creating a “dangerous and oppressive world” by threatening to prosecute journalists.

“As WikiLeaks stands under threat, so does the freedom of expression and the health of all of our societies,'' he said.

The Australian gave no indication about his future plans.

Britain has declined to allow Assange to leave the country, saying it must deliver him to Sweden where there is a warrant for his arrest.

If he steps out of the embassy grounds, Assange faces immediate arrest by British authorities, who have surrounded the embassy.

Ecuadorian President Raphael Correa granted Assange asylum last week, saying it took the step to prevent him from being extradited to the United States.