Julian Assange Says He’ll Leave London’s Ecuadorian Embassy “Soon”

The WikiLeaks figurehead made the announcement at a press conference this morning.

Reuters/Toby Melville

Police stand guard outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London this morning.

2. WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange has said that he plans to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London “soon”. He been claiming political asylum there for two years.

3. Assange made the claim in a press conference alongside Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño this morning.

AP Photo / John Stillwell, POOL

Assange did not go into any further detail as to what he meant by “soon”.

Earlier in the day, Sky News reported that Assange may be preparing to give himself up amid rumors of failing health, putting to an end the two-year impasse between himself and police, who have been stationed outside the building ‘round the clock waiting to arrest him should he exit.

It has been suggested that Assange requires hospital treatment for heart and lung problems. He said that he would be seeking to meet the British foreign secretary in the coming weeks in a bid to resolve the situation.

4. When asked about his health, Assange made no reference to any specific problems he was facing:

As you can imagine, being detained in various ways in this country for four years without charge, and in this embassy for two years, which has no outside area and therefore no sunlight… It is an environment that any healthy person would find themselves with certain difficulties that they would have to manage. The United Nations’ minimum standard for prisoners — and of course, I have not been charged — is one hour a day of outside exercise, and even when the prisoner is in solitude, that has been respected in the UK.

Assange said that the police presence outside the embassy has so far cost the British taxpayer £7 million.

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Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Francis Whittaker at francis.whittaker@buzzfeed.com.
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