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Julian Assange starts 5th year cooped in Ecuador embassy in London

Supporters said they were planning to stage songs, speeches and readings in several European cities, and listed participants in the June 19 anniversary events include Noam Chomsky, Yanis Varoufakis.

By: AFP | London | Published: June 19, 2016 8:45:00 am
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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange starts his fifth year camped out in the Ecuadoran embassy in London on June 19, an occasion his supporters intend to mark with events celebrating whistleblowers.

Supporters said they were planning to stage songs, speeches and readings in several European cities.

Assange, 44, is wanted for questioning over a 2010 rape allegation in Sweden but has been inside Ecuador’s UK mission for four full years in a bid to avoid extradition.

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The anti-secrecy campaigner, who denies the allegation, walked into the embassy of his own free will on June 18, 2012, with Britain on the brink of sending him to Stockholm, and has not left since.

His lawyers say he is angry that Swedish prosecutors are still maintaining the European arrest warrant against him.

The Australian former computer hacker fears that from Sweden he could be extradited to the United States over WikiLeaks’ release of 500,000 secret military files, where he could face a long prison sentence.

Listed participants in June 19’s anniversary events include Patti Smith, Brian Eno, PJ Harvey, Noam Chomsky, Yanis Varoufakis, Ai Weiwei, Vivienne Westwood, Michael Moore and Ken Loach.

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