Assange appears well in new TV interview
Julian Assange appeared fit and well in a new television interview, despite concerns from Ecuador about his health as the WikiLeaks founder remains holed up in the South American country’s London embassy.
The 41-year-old Australian looked healthy in the interview with US network CNN aired on Friday.
The interview was recorded Wednesday, the same day as Ecuador said it had requested a meeting with Britain to discuss his health, claiming he was losing weight and suffering vision problems.
“It’s a little bit like living in a space station because there is no natural light,” Assange said on life in the embassy, a flat in a chic area of London behind the luxury Harrods department store.
“You can’t go out to shops and so on. But I have been in solitary confinement, I know what life is like for prisoners; it’s a lot better than it is for prisoners.”
Jumping bail, Assange walked into the embassy on June 19 seeking asylum in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces questioning over alleged rape and sexual assault.
He was granted asylum on August 16 but Britain has refused to allow him safe passage out of the country, and he remains in the embassy, putting Ecuador in a diplomatic stalemate with Britain.
Assange denies the allegations against him, and claims he could eventually be passed from Sweden to the United States for prosecution over the WikiLeaks website’s publication of hundreds of thousands of classified US documents.
“There’s attempts to extradite me without charge and without evidence – allegedly for the purpose of questioning – all the meanwhile the FBI has been engaged in building this tremendous case, now up to 42,135 pages at least,” he said.
“We need the US government to drop its investigation, the DoJ [Department of Justice] needs to drop the investigation against WikiLeaks.
“It’s an immoral investigation. It breaches the first amendment, it breaches all the principles that the United States government says that it stands for, and it absolutely breaches the principles that the US founding fathers stood for and which most of the US people believe in.”