International police cooperation organization Interpol has put Julian Assange, founder of the whistle-blowers’ website Wikileaks, on its most-wanted list after a court in Sweden announced he was wanted for alleged sex crimes. Wikileaks is this week releasing more than 250,000 secret “cables” between US diplomats.
Two weeks ago, Swedish authorities ordered the arrest of Assange for suspected rape, sexual molestation and illegal use of force. Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization, yesterday released a “Red Notice” calling for Assange’s arrest. Interpol stated that this type of notice is not an arrest warrant, but a request “to assist the national police forces in identifying or locating those persons with a view to their arrest and extradition.”
The incidents are alleged to have occurred in August of this year, several weeks after Assange released 75,000 documents detailing US military actions in Afghanistan. “The background is that he has to be heard in this investigation and we haven’t been able to get a hold of him to question him,” said Marianne Ny, director of prosecution in Sweden.
It was first reported that he was suspected of rape later in August, when he described the allegations as part of a “smear campaign” against Wikileaks. Wikinews reported at the time that he said “the charges are without basis and their issue at this moment is deeply disturbing.” A statement posted on Wikileaks’ website after the charges were announced defended Assange. “We are deeply concerned about the seriousness of these allegations. We the people behind WikiLeaks think highly of Julian and he has our full support. While Julian is focusing on his defenses and clearing his name, WikiLeaks will be continuing its regular operations.”

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