Julian Assange makes public appearance at London embassy

19:56 20 December 2012

Julian Assange made his long-awaited appearance tonight. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire

Julian Assange made his long-awaited appearance tonight. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange made a rare public appearance on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London tonight.

Wikileaks supporters gathered outside the Ecuadorian Embassy. Picture: Ian West/PA WireWikileaks supporters gathered outside the Ecuadorian Embassy. Picture: Ian West/PA Wire

Speaking for 15 minutes on the six-month anniversary of his arrival in the building he said he had been sustained by the solidarity of his supporters and people around the world supporting WikiLeaks and “freedom of the press”.

He has since been granted political asylum by the Ecuador government but has remained inside the embassy.

The Australian will be arrested if he steps outside as he has broken his bail conditions.

He thanked his supporters, who stood in the street outside, some carrying lighted candles.

He said: “Six months ago I entered this building. It has become my home, my office and my refuge. Thanks to the principled stance of the Ecuadorian government and the support of its people, I am safe in this embassy and safe to speak from this embassy.”

He said

“While my freedom is limited, I am still able to work and communicate, unlike the 232 journalists who are in jail tonight.”

Mr Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden over allegations of sexual assault, which he denies.

He fears being sent to the United States to be questioned over his whistle-blowing website.

He said tonight that the Pentagon claimed recently that the existence of WikiLeaks was an “ongoing crime”.

There was an added police presence outside the embassy.

Mr Assange started his 15-minute speech to a crowd of more than 250 outside the embassy by saying that people asked him what gave him hope.

“The answer is right here,” he said to loud cheers from his supporters, who chanted, in Spanish: “Julian, the people are with you.”

Mr Assange said WikiLeaks had more than a million documents being prepared to be released, affecting every country in the world, prompting more cheers from the crowds outside.

“In 2013, we will continue to stand up to bullies.

“The power of people standing up and resisting together terrifies corrupt, undemocratic power. So much so that ordinary people here in the West are now the enemy of governments, to be watched, controlled and impoverished.”

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London politics news

Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Lots of people have been left scratching their heads after arguments made by pro and anti-Europe campaigners (Picture: London24 / Getty)

There has been no shortage of radio, television coverage and column inches devoted to the EU referendum on 23 June.

Monday, May 23, 2016
Mr Cameron and politicians from different political parties are campaigning to remain in the European Union ahead of the referendum on June 23. (Photo by Jack Taylor - Pool/Getty Images)

David Cameron made an early morning trip to a supermarket in Hayes yesterday along with Labour MP Harriet Harman.

Monday, May 16, 2016
Big Ben will stop ticking for months (Picture: Getty)

One of London’s best loved landmarks, Big Ben, is about to fall silent after hundreds of years bringing in the hour at Westminster - and you will be able to watch it not chiming every single second of every day.

Monday, May 16, 2016
Donald Trump and Sadiq Khan don't seem to be friends (Picture: PA Images / London24)

Donald Trump made an ominous-sounding statement as he continued his war of words with London Mayor Sadiq Khan on ITV’s Good Morning Britain today.

Monday, May 16, 2016
Protestors marching on Holloway Prison to demand the prison site is replaced by council housing and community facilities (Picture: Ken Mears)

Jeremy Corbyn joined protesters for a march on Holloway Prison in protest at the government’s housing bill.

Monday, May 16, 2016
Commuters travelling on the District Line during a Tube stirke in 2014 (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Union leaders are calling for urgent talks with new London mayor Sadiq Khan to discuss issues they warn pose the biggest threat to transport services in the capital.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Read more
Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport