Wikileaks Founder Taunts British Government
From Inside Ecuadorian Embassy as He Demands an End to America's
'War on Whistleblowers'
Julian Assange's speech
Julian Assange made his first public appearance for two months today
as he taunted the British government by giving
a speech from a balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
gave a relaxed seven-minute statement demanding an end to America's
war on whistleblowers' while also rubbing ministers' noses
in their continued failure to arrest him.
security sources said would be arrested if he put one 'toe' outside
the Ecuadorian embassy, appears to be relishing his position as
political asylum seeker, having been holed up for two months as
he seeks to avoid extradition from Britain.
began his balcony address by declaring: 'I am here today because
I cannot be there with you today' referring to his asylum
bid which has become costly and embarrassing for the British government.
granted asylum by Ecuador on Thursday as he seeks to avoid extradition
to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over sexual misconduct
founder has been trapped in the embassy for almost two months without
having been seen or heard from.
his supporters had gathered to listen to the Australian as well
as vast amounts of global media. There was also about 100 police
his speech from the safety of a small balcony at the Ecuadorian
embassy knowing that if he stepped foot outside he would be arrested.
seven minute speech, he said: 'As WikiLeaks stands under threat
so does the freedom of expression and the health of all our democracies.
'We must use
this moment to articulate the choice before the government of the
U.S. Will it revert to the values it was founded on or will it launch
off the precipice dragging us all into a dark, repressive world
in which journalists live under fear of prosecution.
'I say it must
turn back. I ask President Obama to do the right thing. The U.S.
must renounce its witch hunt against WikiLeaks. It must dissolve
its FBI investigation and it must vow that it will not seek to prosecute
our staff or our supporters.
must pledge that it will not pursue journalists for shining a light
on the powerful.
be no more foolish talk about prosecuting any news organsations.
The U.S. administration's war on whistleblowers must end.'
speech he also thanked Ecuador for granting him asylum.
He said: 'I
thank President Rafael Correa for the courage he has shown in considering
and granting me political asylum.'
He also offered
an apology to his family, saying: 'To my family and my children
who have been denied their father, forgive me. We will be reunited
It also emerged
today that Assange has instructed his lawyers 'to carry out a legal
action' to protect his rights.
His legal adviser
Baltasar Garzon emerged from the Ecuadorian embassy in London before
Assange spoke and said: 'I have spoken to Julian Assange and I can
tell you he is in fighting spirits and he is thankful to the people
of Ecuador and especially to the president for granting asylum.
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Julian Assange's speech
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