EARLY YEARS: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange grew up on the Northern Rivers. He is pictured here a Goolmangar Public School in 1981.
EARLY YEARS: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange grew up on the Northern Rivers. He is pictured here a Goolmangar Public School in 1981.

6 years detention for Julian Assange

WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange has spent six years this week under what a United Nations working group has called "deprivation of liberty" in the United Kingdom Ecuadorian Embassy.

Wednesday December 7 2016 will mark the sixth anniversary of Mr Assange's detention, which began with ten days' jail time in London followed by nearly 18 months' house arrest before the journalist sought asylum from Ecuador.

Mr Assange has not been known to have left the Ecuardorian Embassy since June 19 2012 for fear authorities in the UK will forcibly send him back to Sweden for a preliminary investigation into rape allegations.

No formal charges have been made against Mr Assange and he reportedly offered to participate in interviews with Swedish prosecutors via telephone, video or in person at the embassy but his offers were ignored until November 2016, more than four years after Ecuador accepted his request for asylum.

Mr Assange and his supporters have maintained concern UK and/or Swedish authorities will extradite him to the United States if he leaves the embassy and that the world's most famous hacker / publisher of whistle blower documents will then face jail for exposing US secrets.

In 2010 WikiLeaks published classified US footage of American army helicopters engaged in killing 12 people in Iraq, including two staff from international news agency Reuters.

Reuters reported that Swedish Chief Prosecutor Ingrid Isgren visited Mr Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in mid-November, stayed about four hours, questioned him via an Ecuadorian prosecutor and left without comment.

Swedish defence lawyer Per Samuelson told Reuters "Ecuador refuses to let me in" and Mr Assange was reportedly represented by his Ecuadorian defence lawyer instead.

Swedish authorities have not yet declared whether or not they will continue with the investigation.

On November 30 the UN dismissed a UK appeal to review a 2015 decision labelling Mr Assange's detention "arbitrary" and recommending his immediate freedom and compensation.



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