After years of forcing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to hole up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London over allegations of rape, the Swedish government announced that it would drop the investigation. Now, though, Assange is firing back against the European Union for allowing cases like his to occur.
Assange, who claimed political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012 to dodge extradition to the United States on potential espionage charges, blamed the EU’s questionable powers to incarcerate people at will for forcing him into near solitude.
“Seven years without charge, while my children grew up without me. That is not something I can forgive, it is not something I can forget,” Assange said Friday during a press conference on the balcony of the embassy.
“The inevitable inquiry into what has occurred in this moment of terrible injustice is something that I hope will not be just about me and this situation,” he continued. “Because the reality is, detention and extradition without charge has become a feature of the European Union. A feature that has been exploited, yes, in my case, for political reasons, but in other cases has subjected many people to terrible injustice.”
Assange proceeded to specifically call out Sweden for allowing a policy of indefinite detention without charge, as well as the EU as a whole for issuing pan-European arrest warrants that can see suspected criminals get intercepted and detained anywhere in the Eurozone.
“This is not how we expect a civilized state to behave,” he said. “Similarly, extradition without charge is not something we expect from the rule of law in the United Kingdom. It is a measure that was introduced as part of the European Union system to turn the EU into a federation.”
Assange noted that he can still be arrested in the UK for breaking bail and is still in the sights of the CIA for his role in leaking sensitive government documents. Despite this, Assange announced that his organization would continue to leak information exposing the CIA’s alleged misdeeds.