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Julian Assange: Wikileaks to release 'million more files in 2013

December 22 2012, 09:30

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said his work "will not be cowed," as he promised the whistle-blowing site would release a million more documents.

In a speech from a balcony at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, he said the files to be published in 2013 would affect "every country in this world".

It is six months since he sought asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual assault claims, which he denies.

He fears being sent to the US and being punished for leaking diplomatic files.

A crowd of some 80 supporters gathered outside the building, in Knightsbridge, to listen to the 41-year-old Australian - whose website published a mass of leaked cables embarrassing a number of countries.

In his statement, Mr Assange said the US Pentagon had recently described the existence of Wikileaks as an "ongoing crime".

Addressing supporters - some of whom carried candles - the Australian said: "While that remains the case and while my government will not defend the journalism and publishing of Wikileaks, I must remain here.

"However, the door is open, and the door has always been open, for anyone who wishes to use standard procedures to speak to me or guarantee my safe passage."

He also said 2012 had been a "huge year" for the organisation.

During the speech, Mr Assange saluted journalists who reported arrests around the world, adding: "It is from the revelation of the truth that all else follows... our civilisation is only as strong as its ideas are true."

Round-the-clock guard

Mr Assange delivered a message from a balcony in August, calling for an end to the diplomatic impasse that began when Ecuador's government granted him political asylum.

Swedenwants to question him over allegations that he sexually assaulted two female ex-Wikileaks supporters while he was in Stockholm to give a lecture in 2010.

Mr Assange entered the embassy after the UK's Supreme Court dismissed his bid to reopen his appeal against extradition. It had given him a two-week grace period before extradition proceedings could start.

Mr Assange has been warned he will be arrested when he leaves the embassy for breaking the terms of his bail conditions, and officers from the Metropolitan Police continue to mount a round-the-clock guard on the building.

A statement from the Ecuadorian ambassador said: "At a time of year when people come closer together, Ecuador reaffirms the solidarity that our country gave six months ago to a person who was being persecuted for thinking and expressing themselves freely.

"Julian has become a guest in this house that we all have learned to appreciate."

Calling for reflection, he went on: "Often it is necessary, as we have done in our beloved country, to stand up and face those enemies of democracy that, far from seeking unity and peace among the citizens of the world, instead seek to ruin socialist peoples and dominate on behalf of small groups of people."

bbc.co.uk

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