The founder of Wikileaks,, made his first public appearance on a balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in the UK this morning. Assange is wanted by Sweden for questioning on allegations of sexual assault. Assange and his supporters fear that he may be handed over to the U.S. for indictment of treasonous releases of sensitive information.
In his speech he thanked the president and the people of Ecuador. He thanked the embassy staff for their hospitality and kindness.
He talked of UK police raiding the exterior of the embassy in the middle of the night and thanked the people's watchful eye had stopped it. "If the UK did not throw away the Geneva convention the other night, it is because the world was watching," he said. He told his supporters that they took a stand for justice, by coming out in the middle of the night.
He thanked the Ecuadoran government and its people for granting him asylum. He said that he owed a debt of gratitude to the staff of the embassy for the hospitality and their kindness.
He thanked Latin American countries in the OAS for their support, which voted to support the granting of asylum by Ecuador.
He also thanked the people of the US, UK, Australia for supporting him, even though their governments have not. In a direct address to his family he apologized for not being there, but emphasized that they would be united soon.
Assange then went on to address the United States and its witch hunt against whistleblowers and Wikileaks.
"I ask President Obama to do the right thing. The US Administration's war on whistleblowers must end," he said.
"There must be no more foolish talk about prosecuting journalists, whether it be Wikileaks or the New York Times," he said.
He addressed the issue of Private Bradley Manning, urging for his release and stating he was found by the UN to have been tortured . He is one of the world`s foremost political prisoners, Assange said, reminding Manning has been in prison for 813 days without a trial. Bradley Manning is the US soldier currently being held at Fort Leavenworth on charges of Treason among other things.
"There is unitity in the oppression there must be absolute unity in the response," he said.
While Assange didn't address Sweden and the case against him there, he made sure that his family got a direct message from him and his major emphasis seemed to be to get the word out to the United States to do the right thing. He asked that those journalists that had been punished for revealing the public record must be released and compensated.
The OAS will meet in the US on Thursay and this will be an issue on the agenda.