Assange claims U.S. is turning to secrecy and obfuscation

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The U.S. is trying to erect a national regime of secrecy and obfuscation where any government employee revealing sensitive information to a media organization can be sentenced to death, life imprisonment, or for espionage, and the journalists from a media organization with them, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told a U.N. forum through a video link from the Ecuador embassy in London on Wednesday.

U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley E. Manning, who was arrested in 2010 for allegedly passing classified documents to WikiLeaks, was charged with a death penalty offence as the U.S. tried to "to break him" into testifying against Assange and WikiLeaks, Assange said. In June, Assange sought protection and requested political asylum from the Ecuador government, to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning in connection with alleged sexual misconduct. He was granted asylum last month.