Julian Assange has this morning (Monday) announced that he will leave the Ecuadorian Embassy in London “soon”, having spent two years inside the building in Knightsbridge.
The WikiLeaks founder held a press conference from the embassy and said that he was leaving “perhaps not for the reasons the Murdoch press and Sky News are saying at the moment”, referring to reports that he is suffering from ill health relating to his heart and lungs.
Assange said at the press conference: “It has been almost four years since I was first detained in the country in solitary confinement, in prison, without charge. And it has been now two years since I was granted political asylum in this embassy.
“Through all that time, nearly four years, I have not been charged with an offence I the United Kingdom or in Sweden and there has been no public indictment in relation to my work in the United States.
“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 United States, builds an ever larger case against that person and their organisation?
“Europe is meant to be a place where the rule of law is respected – where basic rights are respected. But somehow a situation has developed here for me, but also some others, where basic rights that we were previously universally accepted in Europe are no longer respected.”
Sky News reports Assange as also saying at the press conference: “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.”
Watch a clip of Assange’s press conference on Sky News.
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