Julian Assange screams desperate plea as he is dragged out of Ecuador embassy: 'UK must resist'
WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, who had been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the last seven years after seeking asylum, was lifted and hauled out of the premises on Thursday as British authorities arrested him. The 48-year-old had sought refuge in the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case that was later dropped. He was also afraid of being extradited to the US for working with Chelsea Manning in 2010, who disclosed sensitive, military documents to WikiLeaks, which published them.
A clip of the incident showed a defiant Assange, sporting a white beard, wagging a finger and shouting something. It was difficult to make out what the whistleblowing site's founder was saying. Police officials then made a beeline for a police van which was waiting right outside the building and Assange was carried into the van and driven away.
Reports stated that the 48-year-old was shouting "RESIST" while he was being literally dragged from the embassy's door to the van.
A Europe correspondent for a leading Australian news site tweeted that Assange, during his detainment, was saying the "UK has no civility" and "the UK must resist" as he was being dragged out of the embassy.
Assange appeared haggard in the clip, raising speculations about his health again. A medical assessment of Assange carried out in October 2017 for 20 hours over three days revealed that the 48-year-old's health was in "dangerous condition."
Three doctors -- Sondra S Crosby, Brock Chisholm and Sean Love -- who did the assessment wrote in an article for Guardian in January last year, “Further, our assessment reveals that he has had no access to sunlight, appropriate ventilation or outside space for over five and a half years. This has taken a considerable physical as well as psychological toll."
All these doctors had evaluated Assange over a period of three days at the Ecuadorean embassy after Assange proposed a medical evaluation be carried out.
Ever since President Lenín Moreno took office in 2017, Assange has consistently claimed that his living arrangement within the embassy in London was becoming increasingly hostile. He had claimed that the country was attempting to make his life inside the premises more difficult for him in a bid to force him to vacate the building.
Assange was arrested not just for breach of bail conditions but also in relation to a US extradition request, according to his lawyer Jennifer Robinson.
The Department of Justice on Thursday announced a criminal charge against Assange, accusing him of conspiring to hack into classified US government computers.
“The charge relates to Assange’s alleged role in one of the largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States,” the Justice Department said in a press release.