Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has spoken from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has been holed up for two months in a bid to claim political asylum.
“I ask President Obama to do the right thing. The United States must renounce its witch hunt against Wikileaks. The United States must pledge before the world that it will not pursue journalists for shining a light on the secret crimes of the powerful,” said the 41-year-old.
The former hacker is wanted in Sweden in connection with allegations of rape and sexual assault, which he denies. He’s been locked in a legal battle to avoid extradition to Stockholm.
Assange claims he is really wanted by US authorities over his website’s leak of hundreds of thousands of sensitive US diplomatic cables.
Assange’s request for political asylum has caused a diplomatic tussle between Ecuador’s President and London which has threatened to close the embassy if Assange does not give himself up.
His asylum application was approved by Ecuador on Thursday.