Dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei held a silent protest yesterday outside a London court to demand the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who faces extradition to the United States. Exiled Ai, who left China for Germany in 2015 after becoming a target of Beijing's wrath, said Assange's possible prosecution in the US was "unbelievable". "Let him to be a free man," Ai said outside the Old Bailey court in the British capital, wearing a pink T-shirt featuring him next to Assange, both holding up a middle finger. "He truly represents the very core value of why we are fighting, the freedom of the press." Assange faces 18 charges in the US relating to the 2010 release by WikiLeaks of 500,000 secret files detailing aspects of military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.