LONDON: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange berated the United States on Sunday from the balcony of the Ecuadorean embassy where he has sought refuge from arrest, challenging President Barack Obama to end what he called a witch-hunt against his whistle-blowing website.
Speaking from within the London mission to avoid being detained by British police who want to extradite him to Sweden for questioning over rape allegations, Assange said the United States was fighting a war against outlets like WikiLeaks. Pitching himself alongside Russian punk band Pussy Riot and the New York Times newspaper, Assange said the United States risked shunting the world into an era of journalistic oppression. Assange said the United States was at a turning point which could drag the rest of the world into a new oppressive era.
He said US army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, accused of the largest leak of classified documents in US history to WikiLeaks, was a hero who should be released by the United States.