Published: 27 September, 2012, 03:24
Assange to UN: ‘It is time for the US to cease its persecution of WikiLeaks’
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has addressed permanent representatives to the United Nations General Assembly, speaking about the ethical and legal aspects of diplomatic asylum.
Addressing the representatives of the United Nations’ member countries, the WikiLeaks founder spoke of the difference between words and actions, praising US President Barack Obama for his words.
“We commend and agree with the words that peace can be achieved… But the time for words has run out. It is time for the US to cease its persecution of WikiLeaks, our people and our sources.”
Julian Assange also spoke at length about Bradley Manning, the US private accused of supplying WikiLeaks with hundreds of sensitive diplomatic and military cables. Assange accused the US government of detaining Manning without charge and mistreating him, even attempting to offer him a deal in exchange for Manning’s testimony against Assange. The WikiLeaks founder told the UN panel that Bradley Manning, accused of ‘death penalty crimes’, was “degraded, abused and psychologically tortured.”
Julian Assange made his address from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he took shelter in June after losing a court battle to avoid extradition to Sweden. The WikiLeaks founder fears that Sweden, which wants him for questioning over allegations of sexual assault, will extradite him to the US for his role in leaking thousands of secret diplomatic and military cables.
The British Foreign Office maintains that it has a binding obligation to arrest Assange once he leaves the embassy grounds. Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino, meanwhile, said that allowing Assange to be transferred to the country’s embassy in Sweden would be an acceptable compromise for all parties involved, as he would “remain under our protection while also satisfying the demands of the Swedish justice system.”
The UK and Sweden have remained silent on the possibility of a compromise, though both publicly vowed that Assange should not face special treatment, whether better or worse than normal, under their legal systems.
- RT: Ecuador might transfer Assange to Sweden (jhaines6.wordpress.com)
- Assange will speak to UN from Ecuadorian Embassy in London (cnn.com)