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Cameron: Time for WikiLeaks Leader to Face Rape Charges

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks on the balcony of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. A U.N. human rights panel says Assange has been "arbitrarily detained" as he fights a warrant to answer rape charges in Sweden.
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British Prime Minister David Cameron says it is time for Julian Assange to leave the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

Cameron told the British Parliament Wednesday that Assange should answer rape charges against him in Sweden.

“What he should do is come out of that embassy and face the arrest warrant that is against him,” Cameron said.

Assange set up the Wikileaks website 10 years ago. The site became world famous for publishing secret government documents and images.

Assange entered the Ecuadorean embassy 3 ½ years ago. He went there to avoid deportation to Sweden. Swedish government lawyers say two women have accused him of rape.

Assange denies the charges.

The United Nation’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention ruled this month that Assange has been unfairly denied his freedom. It said he should be freed and allowed to seek “compensation.”

Assange spoke by video from the Ecuadorean embassy. He said “it is settled law” that he has been wrongly detained. Assange also said he plans to leave the embassy, but did not say when.

The British government said it is not required to accept the U.N. ruling.

I’m Bruce Alpert.

VOA correspondent Luis Ramirez reported on this story for Bruce Alpert adapted this report for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

warrant n. a document issued by a court that gives the police the power to do something

deportation – n. to force a person to leave a country

arbitrary adj. not planned or chosen for a particular reason

compensationn. payment to make up for some problem or damage

detention n. the act of keeping someone in a prison or similar place