Assange on Asylum – Interview

Published on ZNet (first on teleSUR English ), by Chris Spannos and Julian Assange, March 14, 2015.

Swedish authorities announced Friday their willingness to finally interview WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief Julian Assange, but a secret U.S. investigation has trapped the insurgent publisher without charge in Ecuador’s London embassy. Monday, March 16 will mark 1,000 days since Assange sought asylum there. In an exclusive interview with teleSUR English, Assange said there is growing recognition that the situation is unjust. Assange spoke with teleSUR editor Chis Spannos//

… CS: So in this larger context, what does the Swedish investigation represent?  

  • JA: The U.S. investigation was already on foot. Without wanting to go into the details of the Swedish investigation, which are well documented on, the Swedes started their investigation and then dropped it, and then started it again, and then in the context of us just about to publish Cabelgate, put out an Interpol red notice for this preliminary investigation with no charges and kept it going ever since. The women in the case say to the courts that they did not want any such investigation. But the government took this up anyway. So it is quite a strange case and is being used as a PR stick and it has trapped me here in the UK. So whenever we talk about what is going on in the U.S. case and how serious that is, the PR attack says “oh no, no, no. That is about some Swedish sex case.” That has been a tremendous distraction.
  • Formally the Swedes say that it is a quote “preliminary investigation” un-quote. I have not been charged and there has been nothing done in that preliminary investigation for four years and the Swedish authorities admit it. Now it seems likely that the preliminary investigation will dissipate within the next year. But the UK has said that even if that happens they are going to arrest me anyway and you also have the U.S. case.

CS: Is there anything you want to say or add about your 1000 days of asylum generally?

  • JA: It has been a difficult 1000 days. Not so much for me but for my family. For me, I have plenty of things to concentrate on that are not in the embassy. I have an organization to run. We have a dozen different court actions across the world.
  • As time has gone by the legal and political situation has clarified, such that it has become an obvious and conspicuous injustice. That view is now the dominant view in Sweden, the United Kingdom and many other countries always had that view but these two countries are involved in a concrete way. The United States is a bit harder. Although there has been very hostile rhetoric in the United States — calling for my assassination, calling for WikiLeaks to be listed as a terrorist organization, calling for bills presented before congress to define me and all my staff as enemy combatants who can be killed and kidnapped at will — the U.S. is a large enough country that we do have a fair run in a number of U.S. media outlets; some of the small ones nearly all the time. But even the largest, even Fox News, occasionally. So we have a spectrum of support in the United States not always able to express itself, but sometimes it is and I think that is quite a hopeful sign when you consider the amount of demonization that has occurred from the national security state in the U.S.
  • Here in the United Kingdom, as a result of my case, they changed the law last year to say that there should be no more extradition without charge. That only deals with one charge because we still have the U.S. case to deal with. But there is a growing realization that what is happening here is really unjust. You cannot have someone detained in Europe without charge for four-and-a half years. Everyone can see that there is something wrong with that.

Julian Assange is founder and editor-and-chief of

(full text).


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