WATCH: ‘I will not forgive or forget’: Assange Speaks for First Time Since Charges Dropped
London, UK – On Friday, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange addressed the public for the first time since rape charges were dropped by Swedish authorities. Since 2012, Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London under asylum, understanding that the Swedish arrest warrant was simply a pretext to a subsequent extradition to the U.S. under a secret sealed indictment.
“Today is an important victory for me, and for the UN human rights system. But it by no means erases seven years of detention without charge – in prison, under house arrest, and almost five years here in this embassy without sunlight,” Assange said from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy.
“Seven years without charge, while my children grew up without me. That is not something that I can forgive, it is not something that I can forget.
“The inevitable inquiry into what has occurred in this moment of terrible injustice is something that I hope will be more than just about me, and this situation, because the reality is, detention and extradition without charge has become a feature of the EU.
“A feature which has been exploited, yes, in my case, for political reasons, but for other cases have subjected many people to terrible injustices.”
Assange stated that “while today was an important victory, an important vindication,” the “the war is far from over.”
He says, “WikiLeaks will continue publication,” but noted that he was happy to engage in dialogue with the U.S. Department of Justice.
“While US has made extremely threatening remarks, always happy to engage in dialogue over what has occurred.”
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“My staff, my legal staff, have contacted the UK authorities and we hope to engage in a