Julian Assange, founder of the website WikiLeaks, has accused US President Barack Obama of exploiting the Arab Spring revolutions for political gain in a video message to a UN fringe event.
The 41-year-old Australian used a videolink address on Wednesday to claim Obama was using the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East as political tools on the campaign trail.
Assange was speaking from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been living for three months since he entered the building to avoid extradition to Sweden.
Assange referenced the self-immolation of a Tunisian man which sparked the toppling of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, saying "Mohamed Bouazizi did not set himself on fire so that Barack Obama could get reelected."
Assange added that the US government would be "audacious" to take credit for the revolutions in the region, saying it was "disrespect to the dead to claim that the United States supported the forces of change."
However he claimed his organisation had played a part in the uprisings, saying the 251,000 US diplomatic cables leaked via WikiLeaks "went on to help trigger the Arab Spring."
Assange's address came as the Sydney Morning Herald reported the United States military has classed Assange and WikiLeaks as "enemies of the United States" - the same designation as groups such as Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
The paper claims that "declassified US Air Force counter-intelligence documents, released under US freedom-of-information laws, reveal that military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with "communicating with the enemy", a military crime that carries a maximum "sentence of death."
The 41-year-old used his address to ask the American government to cease its "assault" of WikiLeaks, its members and sources.
Telling the story of American soldier Bradley Manning, who is being held in solitary confinement after being accused of leaking thousands of documents to WikiLeaks, he said: "We should not underestimate the scale of the investigation which has has happened to WikiLeaks.
"I only wish I could say that Bradley Manning was the only victim of the situation."
Referencing his own situation, Assange said: "I speak to you as a free man because despite having detained for 659 days without charge, I am free in the most basic sense, I am free to speak my mind."
"This freedom because the nation of Ecuador has granted me political asylum and other nations have rallied to support its decision."
Throughout his address, Assange made no reference to the sex crimes allegations he faces in Sweden.
UK courts agreed to extradite Assange to Sweden to answer the allegations, but the Australian fled to the Ecuadorian embassy in London in June this year.
According to the Guardian, Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino, said on Wedneday that Assange could spend up to ten years in the embassy "without right to his life or his privacy".