SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Julian Assange has told a news conference he will leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London “soon” after more than two years inside the building. Assange described his next moves alongside the Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino. It is suggested that the WikiLeaks founder needs hospital treatment for heart and lung problems however the 43 year old denied he was leaving the embassy for health reasons.
Assange said: “I am leaving the embassy soon – but perhaps not for the reasons the Murdoch press and Sky News are saying at the moment. “As you can imagine, being detained in various ways in this country without charge for four years and in this embassy for two years which has no outside area, therefore no sunlight, as a result of the obstruction that is presently in place by the UK that has admitted the cost of more than £6.5m, it is an environment in which any healthy person would find themselves soon enough with certain difficulties they would have to manage.”
Mr Assange insisted Ecuador’s decision to grant him political asylum “is the correct one”. He said: “How can it be that such a situation in Europe arises where a person is held and their freedom of movement restricted and they are kept from their family while a foreign government, the US, builds an ever larger case against that person and their organisation. Somehow the situation has developed here for me, but also some others, where basic rights that were previously universally accepted in Europe are no longer respected.”
Mr Patino said: “There has been two years of great uncertainty and a lack of legal protection. This situation must come to an end. Two years is simply too long. It is time to free Julian Assange. It is time for his human rights to finally be respected.” He added that he would seek to meet with the British Foreign Secretary in the next few weeks to discuss resolving the situation.
Mr Assange requested political asylum from Ecuador in June 2012 and has been under continued surveillance and with police stationed outside the embassy since. He will be arrested if he leaves the building. Mr Assange has been investigated by US authorities since WikiLeaks published leaked military and diplomatic documents in 2010. He was granted asylum in 2012 and is facing an arrest warrant in Sweden over allegations he sexually assaulted two women. He denies the allegations. Mr Assange has said he does not want to go to Sweden because he fears he would be extradited to the US to face questioning.
Source: Sky News