WikiLeaks' Julian Assange appears, denounces US 'witch hunt' against his site

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He's appeared in public – but Julian Assange still hasn't set foot outside Ecuador's embassy in London, where he took refuge two months ago to avoid being sent to Sweden to face questioning in a sex crimes case.

Speaking from an embassy balcony today, Assange called on the United States to end what he calls a "witch hunt" against his website, WikiLeaks.

The Los Angeles Times said Assange was careful to stay on embassy property to avoid arrest, out of reach of British police eager for his capture.

Assange and his supporters say Washington wants him to stand trial in the United States over the release by WikiLeaks of huge amounts of secret State Department documents. No charges have been brought forward by the U.S. so far, the Times reported.

"Will it return and reaffirm the revolutionary values it was founded on, or will it lurch off the precipice and bring us all into a dangerous world in which journalists fall silent from the fear of prosecution?" Assange said, according to the Times. "I ask President Obama to do the right thing."

The WikiLeaks founder did not comment on allegations that he sexually assaulted two women in Stockholm in 2010, the Times continued.

Assange also called on the U.S. to release Pfc. Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier who has been charged with aiding the enemy by passing the secret files to WikiLeaks and is awaiting trial.

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