Julian Assange fears he'll be assassinated if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy

The Wikileaks founder also said it's a possibility he could be 'droned' by the CIA

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is worried he could be assassinated if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy, where he has been in hiding since June 2012.

In an interview with The Times Magazine, Assange discussed how he believed he could be kidnapped or "droned" by the CIA.

"I’m a white guy," Assange told The Times. "Unless I convert to Islam it’s not that likely that I’ll be droned, but we have seen things creeping towards that."

He revealed how he had not had access to fresh air or sunlight for three years. While he said it is "not likely" he will be shot, he believes it is too dangerous to step onto the embassy’s balcony, from which he addressed supporters in the early days of his asylum.

"There are security issues with being on the balcony. There have been bomb threats and assassination threats from various people," he said.

Assange also claimed it was his idea for whistleblower Edward Snowden to seek exile in Russia.

"Snowden was well aware of the spin that would be put on it if he took asylum in Russia," Assange says.

"He preferred Latin America, but my advice was that he should take asylum in Russia despite the negative PR consequences, because my assessment is that he had a significant risk of being kidnapped from Latin America on CIA orders.

Otherwise, he risked being "kidnapped and possibly killed," according to Assange.

The Wikileaks founder was granted political asylum by the Ecuadorean government in 2012 under the 1951 Refugee Convention, after facing extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over alleged sex assaults.

Recently, Britain's ambassador to Ecuador accused the embassy of an "abuse of diplomatic relations" for harbouring Assange.

Assange is thought to have cost the UK taxpayer £10 million in police expenses.