Julian Assange Must Be Released, Says Julian Assange

By Tom Pritchard on at

Julian Assange, editor and founder of Wikileaks, has been holed up in London's Ecuadorian Embassy since 2012, following a rape allegation in Sweden. The UK Supreme Court ruled he was to be extradited, which led to him seeking political asylum - while claiming the whole thing was a ruse to extradite him to the USA and face trial.

The Swedish investigation has since been dropped, but the government has made it clear he would still be arrested if he left. According to a MET Police statement from last May, that's because an arrest warrant was filed after Assange failed to surrender himself to court on 29th June 2012. Ecuador had applied for Assange to receive diplomatic status, that would presumably let him leave the embassy without a pair of handcuffs, but the Foreign Office has rejected that request.

Now the official Wikileaks Twitter account has demanded Assange be released, and considering Assange is in charge of Wikileaks it's sort of like he's asking the government leave him alone in the third person - even if Assange isn't writing the tweets himself.

Regardless of how you feel about Assange or the information in that tweet, you can't really blame Assange for wanting to get out. He's been holed up in the embassy for over five years now, with little hope of being able leave a free man. You also can't blame the man for trying to get out in a way that would make it harder for him to be extradited to the USA, particularly after US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said his arrest was "a priority" last April.

But don't count on it happening anytime soon. A spokesperson for the Foreign Office denied that the government was in talks with Ecuador over Assange receiving diplomatic status, emphasisng that the government wants him to face justice - even if the crime in question is far less severe than it was 12 months ago. [IBTimes]

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