The consequences of Julian Assange's actions forced him to live inside the Ecuadorian embassy for two years, but his spirit is high and he is dedicated to work, investigative journalist and spokesperson for WikiLeaks Kristinn Hrafnsson told RT.
RT: Julian Assange and his lawyer will try to challenge the Swedish detention order early next week. Do you think it will be successful?
Kristinn Hrafnsson: I hope they will be successful, given the fact that it is becoming so shameful for Sweden. On Tuesday they will submit information and demand the arrest warrant will be thrown out. I cannot go into details; I hope they will do it themselves next week. The last hope that it will be the breaking point in this ridiculous standoff.
RT: After two years holed up in the embassy, does Assange have any regrets about his revelations?
KH: He has no regrets about the revelations of WikiLeaks, I’m certain. He of course is defending his rights by seeking asylum in Ecuador, the asylum that he was granted. It is a human right and indeed, almost 60 individuals in the organization have submitted reports to the UN condemning Sweden for depriving him from his human rights according to international law.
RT: How has Assange's confinement affected WikiLeaks' work?
KH: Of course it has affected WikiLeaks' work. It is inevitable that the situation Julian is in has somehow affected our work as we have some negative attacks on the organization, for example, the ongoing investigation by the US on the organization, but we have tried to work around that and managed fairly well.
RT: Do you think the hounding of Assange has made whistleblowers scared to speak out?
KH: I’m sure that everybody will take a serious look at the situation and the examples that we have had before - the situation of Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and others that had faced serious consequences because of their action, standing up against corrupt powers and acting upon their conscious. However, people of strong conviction I’m sure will in the future stand forward for that information. We of course provide a platform, where we can secure their anonymity, protecting them from those serious consequences.
RT: Do you believe the UK is trying to do more than just uphold the law when it comes to Assange?
KH: This is of course a way beyond the law. They should accept the fact that Julian Assange has a right to seek political asylum according to international law. And they should allow him to pass out of the country to Ecuador instead of then spending 10 million dollars on policing the embassy. 10 million dollars of taxpayers’ money should of course be spent on welfare and other issues.
RT: When do you think Julian Assange will be able to walk free?
KH: We always hope this would happen in the next few days even, it is going on far too long and it is something that has to end. We speak frequently and we are in a constant contact, and his spirit is high despite the fact that of course it has consequences to be constrained, to be indoors for two years. Everybody could try to imagine what that does, but he is dedicated to work and keeping himself very busy every day.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.