Added by Annika L. Krugel on November 5, 2010
Australian founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, is reportedly considering seeking political asylum in Switzerland after having his work and residence permit application rejected by Swedish authorities.
Assange, whose website WikiLeaks has enraged Pentagon by releasing almost 500, 000 classified files on the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the largest leak in the country’s military history, said in a statement broadcast on Swiss television TSR, “I’m considering whether I should seek asylum,”.
He originally attempted to move to Sweden where he could make use of the country’s strict laws protecting journalists. But his plans failed when his permit application was rejected after being under investigation for alleged rape, allegations that Assange has denied.
The UN Human Rights Council is conducting a review into the U.S. human rights record and Assange is in Geneva to speak to the UN as part of the investigation. He told media “It is time the United States opened up instead of covering up,”.
The U.S. delegation to the council is said to be open to fair criticism but insists that the military has not systematically ignored torture and abuse by Iraqi troops of Iraqi prisoners.
According to Assange, the Obama administration has not launched any investigations into cases of abuse, unlike other countries like Denmark and Britain. “The only investigation to my knowledge that has been announced by the United States is into us, into possible sources within the US military,” he said.