Julian Assange’s latest announcement from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy, London, promises more from Wikileaks in 2013.
Julian Assange is the founder-in-exile of the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks. Speaking to a group of 200 assembled supporters and journalists, Assange delivered a speech that was full of rhetoric but offered relatively little in terms of new information, except that Wikileaks has over 1 million new documents to be published in the coming year.
“Next year will be busy,” he says, “Wikileaks already has over a million documents being prepared to be released, documents that affect every country in the world.”
However, it seems that for the time being he will remain at the Ecuadorian embassy, which is protecting him from deportation to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning regarding alleged sexual offences. He says:
“While this immoral investigation continues and while the Australian government will not defend the journalism and publishing of Wikileaks, I must remain here.”
Assange thanked the Ecuadorian government who has given him political refuge since June 19 this year, from the European Arrest Warrant held in his name.
“Six months ago – 185 days ago – I entered this building. It has become my home, my office and my refuge,” he says.
“Thanks to the principled stance of the Ecuadorean government and the support of its people, I am safe in this embassy and safe to speak from this embassy.”
Many of his supporters carried candles and placards with slogans such as ‘Protect Assange’ and ‘USA Hands Off Assange’.Tim Blades, 40, one of Assange’s supporters told the UK-based Guardian:
“I come in defense of freedom of speech and to defend the right of Julian Assange to have asylum granted to him by a sovereign and independent country. This cannot go on for ever. The British government has to permit safe access to Ecuador for Julian Assange. This will only happen as a result of diplomatic pressure and the people pressure.”
A video of his speech is available to view here, courtesy of Reuters.