Sunday, June 19, 2016

Angry Assange starts 5th year cooped in London embassy

London (AFP) - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange started his fifth year camped out in the Ecuadoran embassy in London on Sunday, an occasion marked by his supporters with events celebrating whistleblowers.

Supporters held talks in European cities including Athens, Berlin, Brussels and Madrid, which Assange addressed through a live video stream from inside the embassy.

"I am normally very isolated here at the embassy," Assange said, noting it was strange to address so many people.

"It's quite incredible to see this extent of support."

The 44-year-old is wanted for questioning over a 2010 rape allegation in Sweden but has been inside Ecuador's UK mission for four full years in a bid to avoid extradition.

The anti-secrecy campaigner, who denies the allegation, walked into the embassy of his own free will on June 18, 2012, with Britain on the brink of sending him to Stockholm, and has not left since.

His lawyers say he is angry that Swedish prosecutors are still maintaining the European arrest warrant against him.

The Australian former computer hacker fears that from Sweden he could be extradited to the United States over WikiLeaks' release of 500,000 secret military files, and could face a long prison sentence there.

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