Assange's new legal challenge to become turning point: spokesman

Assange's new legal challenge to become turning point: spokesman

PanARMENIAN.Net - Plans by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to try to challenge the Swedish detention order next week are due to become a turning point in the scandal, WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said, according to RIA Novosti.

“I hope they will be successful, given the fact that it is becoming so shameful for Sweden. The last hope that it will be the breaking point in this ridiculous standoff,” Hrafnsson told RT in an interview Friday, June 20.

Lawyers for Assange, who on Thursday marked his second anniversary staying in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, are expected to file a challenge to his detention order in Sweden on Tuesday, WikiLeaks spokesman said without giving further details.

Hrafnsson said he is certain that the whistleblower has no regrets about the revelations of WikiLeaks.

“He of course is defending his rights by seeking asylum in Ecuador, the asylum that he was granted. It is a human right and indeed, almost 60 individuals in the organization have submitted reports to the UN condemning Sweden for depriving him from his human rights according to international law,” he said.

Asked whether the hounding of Assange has made whistleblowers scared to speak out, Hrafnsson said: “I’m sure that everybody will take a serious look at the situation and the examples that we have had before - the situation of Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and others that had faced serious consequences because of their action, standing up against corrupt powers and acting upon their conscious.”

“However, people of strong conviction I’m sure will in the future stand forward for that information. We of course provide a platform, where we can secure their anonymity, protecting them from those serious consequences,” he added.

Answering a question if Assange could be able to walk free, he said: “We always hope this would happen in the next few days even, it is going on far too long and it is something that has to end. We speak frequently and we are in a constant contact, and his spirit is high despite the fact that of course it has consequences to be constrained, to be indoors for two years. Everybody could try to imagine what that does, but he is dedicated to work and keeping himself very busy every day.”

Assange launched his website WikiLeaks in 2006, which has published hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. government documents. In 2010 he was arrested on sexual assault charges in Sweden, but released soon after on bail. He has been holed up in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London since June 2012 to avoid extradition.

Ecuador granted political asylum to Assange in August 2012, saying there were indications of political persecution against him. The UK refuses to allow Assange safe passage out of the embassy — ensuring round-the-clock security.

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