Julian Assange: U.S. must renounce WikiLeaks witch hunt
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Sunday made his first public appearance in two months, urging President Barack Obama “to do the right thing.”
The head of the anti-secrecy website has fought for two years against his extradition to Sweden, where he’s wanted for questioning in relation to allegations of sexual assault. He claims that the charges are politically-motivated and that the U.S. hopes to prosecute him for publishing a trove of classified U.S. documents.
“I ask President Obama to do the right thing,” Assange said from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where has has been granted asylum. “The United States must renounce its witch hunt against WikiLeaks.”
He called on the United States to release Army private Bradley Manning, who has been held in military jail for more than two years for allegedly leaking the secret documents. Manning faces a military trial later this year.
“If Bradley Manning really did as he is accused, he is a hero, an example to us all, and one of the world’s foremost political prisoners.”
A grand jury in Virginia has investigated whether Assange personally asked Manning to obtain secret U.S. documents for WikiLeaks, which would allow the U.S. to bring conspiracy charges against Assange. The United States has denied pressuring Britain to seize Assange.
Watch video, courtesy of the Al Jazeera English, below:
[Ed. note: Updated with longer video.]