WikiLeaks Assange Tells US Government To End The Witch Hunt
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Assange appeared on Sunday for the first time since he took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London two months ago. Earlier this week, Assange was granted diplomatic asylum by Ecuador, though only on Ecuadorian soil. As such, Assange would have to first make it to the country without being stopped by the London authorities, who have already said they would find and extradite Assange to Sweden if they got the chance. Assange, the 41-year old Austrian responsible for leaking sensitive FBI communication cables to his WikiLeaks website, is also wanted in Sweden on two counts of misconduct.
Assange addressed the world on Sunday from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy where it is reported that dozens of British police were closely watching. Assange and his supporters have long claimed the sexual misconduct accusations from Sweden are nothing more than an elaborate way to have him sent to Washington. These claims have been roundly denied by the Swedish authorities and the women involved.
“I ask President Obama to do the right thing. The United States must renounce its witch hunt against WikiLeaks,” said Julian Assange, from the Ecuadorian embassy on Sunday.
“The United States must dissolve its FBI investigation. The United States must vow that it will not seek to prosecute our staff or our supporters.”
“As WikiLeaks stands under threat, so does the freedom of expression and the health of all of our societies.”
Those dozens of British Police officers were watching with such intent in the chance that Assange were to step outside of the embassy and, therefore, outside of the Ecuadorian territory. If he had done so, they could have arrested him and sent him to Sweden. In order to keep Assange safely contained in the embassy, a door to the balcony was removed, allowing him to speak freely without concern of arrest. The UK Foreign Office had no comment about Assange´s actions or statements.
In addition to calling for Obama and the US to call of their witch hunt against him, Assange also took time to praise his new Ecuadorian saviors, according to Reuters.
“The sun came up on a different world and a courageous Latin American nation took a stand for justice,” said Assange, as he stood in front of the Ecuadorian coat of arms.
This week´s announcement about Assange´s new Ecuadorian immunity is the latest in a long battle between the WikiLeaks founder and the Governments of Britain, Ecuador, Sweden and the United States.
Though he now has protection in the embassy, the UK Foreign Office has threatened to revoke any diplomatic status on any embassy on British soil, thus allowing them to raid the Ecuadorian embassy and extradite Assange to Sweden.
Calling the latest decision by Ecuador “a matter of regret,” William Hague, the British foreign secretary said on Thursday, “We will not allow Mr Assange safe passage out of the United Kingdom, nor is there any legal basis for us to do so.” “We are talking about an Act of Parliament in this country which stresses that it must be used in full conformity with international law.”