Julian Paul Assange, born Julian Paul Hawkins, 3 July 1971 is an Australian computer programmer, publisher and journalist. He is editor-in-chief of the organisation WikiLeaks, which he founded in 2006. He has won numerous accolades for journalism, including the Sam Adams Award and Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism.
Assange founded WikiLeaks in 2006, but came to global prominence in 2010, when WikiLeaks published a series of leaks provided by Chelsea Manning. These leaks included the Collateral Murder video (April 2010), the Afghanistan war logs (July 2010), the Iraq war logs (October 2010), and CableGate (November 2010). Following the 2010 leaks, the United States government launched a criminal investigation into WikiLeaks and asked allied nations for assistance. In November 2010, a request was made for Assange’s extradition to Sweden, where he had been questioned months earlier over allegations of sexual assault and rape. Assange continued to deny the allegations, and expressed concern that he would be extradited from Sweden to the United States because of his perceived role in publishing secret American documents. Assange surrendered himself to UK police on 7 December 2010, and was held for ten days in solitary confinement before being released on bail. He sought and was granted asylum by Ecuador in August 2012. He has since remained in the Embassy of Ecuador in London, and is unable to leave without being arrested for breaching his bail conditions.
Speaking from the Embassy
On 16 August 2012, Foreign Minister Patiño announced that Ecuador was granting Assange political asylum because of the threat represented by the United States secret investigation against him and several calls for assassination from many American politicians. In its formal statement, Ecuador reasoned that “as a consequence of [Assange’s] determined defense to freedom of expression and freedom of press… in any given moment, a situation may come where his life, safety or personal integrity will be in danger”. Latin American states expressed support for Ecuador. Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa confirmed on 18 August that Assange could stay at the embassy indefinitely, and the following day Assange gave his first speech from the balcony. Assange’s supporters forfeited £293,500 in bail and sureties. His home since then has been an office converted into a studio apartment, equipped with a bed, telephone, sun lamp, computer, shower, treadmill, and kitchenette.
Due to the assassination threats Assange doesn’t go out on the embassy balconies and stays away from windows. Nor does he venture to the roof for fresh air.
Recently emerged photos taken by British intelligence seems to show Assange’s head emerging from a chimney from a nearby building. How he moved from the embassy to that building is unknown.
The fresh air must be exhilarating. Getting through the chimney however must be quite stuffy.
Another photo snapped by a lucky paparazzi shows Assange sticking his head out of a manhole on a street next to the embassy. Conjecture has it that Assange must have a network of sewer tunnels available to him to move around below the streets of London. If the Ecuadorians ever change their minds about allowing him asylum Julian could make a break for it by fleeing through the sewers. With help he could make it to Russia, where he could move in with Edward Snowden.
Assange claims he is all about transparency by governments. A true democrat who is fighting for the people. According to traitors like Assange and Snowden the government should never conceal and have secrets. Everything should be wide open. Even in time of war.
Furthermore, if Assange is so committed to truth and transparency, why doesn’t he turn himself in to authorities and face the music. If he is truthfully innocent he has nothing to fear, so why is he holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy like a cornered rat?