Julian Assange has said that WikiLeaks is preparing to publish 1m new secret government documents as he marked six months of refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London with a speech from its balcony on Thursday.
The WikiLeaks founder has remained in the embassy to avoid arrest and extradition to Sweden on suspicion of sexual offences. There is a permanent police guard and Assange will be arrested if he leaves the premises.
About 80 supporters gathered on Thursday night to hear Assange speak. They carried candles and held placards reading, “Don’t shoot the messenger” and “Don’t trust Sweden”. Some sang Christmas carols as they waited for Assange to speak from the first floor balcony, a short distance from Harrods department store. There were 60 additional police officers on duty.
Assange emerged with a raised fist and greeted the crowd: “What a sight for sore eyes. People ask what gives me hope. The answer is right here.”
He was momentarily disturbed when a journalist from Channel 4 shouted questions at him with a loudhailer, but he recovered and delivered a 15-minute speech which was high in rhetoric and low in novelty.
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