Asylum: Assange in public for 1st time

2012-08-19 15:49

London - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has called on President Barack 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 on Sunday, speaking from a small balcony.

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

  • dorovan - 2012-08-19 15:50

    Go Julian - champion for the free press!

  • craig.king.7505 - 2012-08-19 16:18

    Not a word about the rape charges or jumping bail. Seems a bit selective in his performance.

      michael.a.devilliers - 2012-08-19 16:20

      There are no rape charges - they want him for questioning.

      phoenix.px.5 - 2012-08-19 16:34

      Every one (except you) know it is a ruse to get him back to Sweden. The moment he is there the charges will be dropped and he will be rearrested and extradited. The girls themselves said they were not raped and the state came up with the excuse that he needs to be questioned on rape allegations. I am not one for conspiracy theories - but what is going on here is very obvious. Open your eyes.

      phoenix.px.5 - 2012-08-19 16:37

      ... and so by the way he did not jump bail. The Swedish prosecutor gave him the go-ahead to leave for Britain; and then weeks later suddenly brought forward these charges with a RED Interpol notice - for sexual allegations. This type of notice is only used for the likes of Osama Bin Laden - yet a RED notice is issues for him to be questioned on sexual allegations???

      craig.king.7505 - 2012-08-19 17:48

      Pheonix, he jumped the British bail. As for the rest you are simply speculating. The americans could request extradition from Britain if they were so inclined, but they haven't have they?

  • sias1 - 2012-08-19 16:56

    It just goes to show, that Europe is still a puppet of the USA.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-19 17:00

      This puppet idea is immature, disrespectful and stupid.

      craig.king.7505 - 2012-08-19 17:55

      Nonsense. Europe has a legal system that is independent from the politicians and Assange has been treated properly by it. You are misguided in thinking this is about press freedom, it is about criminal investigations into allegations of rape. Assange is playing a political game here because he is afraid of the consequences he might face if convicted in Sweden of rape by their laws.

  • rory.short1 - 2012-08-19 17:03

    The powers that be in the USA were, and are, highly offended by the material that appears on Wikkileaks, that much is clear. I have not gone on to Wikkileaks myself but it would seem that it reveals all sorts of official activities that the USA in particular would not like to become public knowledge but now it is out in public thanks to Wikkileaks. In that Wikkileaks is performing a much needed service for the community at large. I have no opinion about the moral calibre, or lack thereof, of Julian Asange himself because given the USA's desire to silence and/or discredit him I inevitably question the veracity of any reports that cast a bad light on his character.

      marnus.lamprecht - 2012-08-19 17:44

      Just by the nature of his actions his character and morality is being brought in question because he fraudulently obtained information he had no right to, not to dissimilar to the whole News of the World saga. People and the UK government made a huge fuss about that, why then support Assange when he also hacked and leaked sensitive information? At the and all he caused was a few red faces but he could have caused a lot of conflict or anger between nations. If he was so sure that he did nothing wrong why is he so scared of being questioned over both the sexual and other issues against him? He made loads of money and became famous through his actions and now he has to live like a prisoner in a foreign countries embassy...

  • Bruce - 2012-08-19 17:41

    Free Julian! Promote media freedom...

  • denis.delaport - 2012-08-19 18:03

    Assange! The coward, if there is any merit in is "Good" conduct he would trust the legal system in both Sweden and the USA. The arrogant prick deals in anarchy and conspiracy without given the system a chance enforce its own checks and balances. If there is a case to answer too then he must be man enough to do so. To believe the USA will put everything on hold just for him just proves how absorbed the fool is in his own selfish importance.

      stuart.steedman - 2012-08-19 19:48

      History has shown that the US legal system is not to be trusted. Can I draw your attention to a little place called Guantanemo?

  • wallace.outkast - 2012-08-19 19:29

    viva julian, we are tied with thoses western murderer and rapist, people are killd , rapped,there right violated, and some people are ok with this?????, where is the freedom of speach they always want to teach our countries,..the west has nothing to trade with us anymore that is why thwy making trouble in other nation to syeel from's time for us to wake up!!!!!!!

  • tim.durrant.520 - 2012-08-20 12:16

    This man is a criminal; but somehow it seems the brain-dead masses are supporting him. Let me ask you, if someone raped you, would you want them to play political and diplomatic games to avoid facing up to the consequences of their actions? He chose Ecuador, famously anti UK & anti US as he knew their tin-pot political system would side with him and complicate his arrest diplomatically. Ecuador have granted political asylum to a criminal – and yet, as a country they want the world to take them seriously?! Assange is wanted by the Swedish authorities, the UK has an obligation under European legal agreements to arrest and extradite him. Whether he is sent to the USA for questioning after that is nothing to do with the UK. Europe is not a puppet of the USA. Like the USA; Europe believes in justice. Is it jealousy that causes people to question Europe’s good relations with the US?

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