Julian Assange made a live phone conference call on Wednesday to prove to his followers that he’s still alive. The 45-year-old founder of the news leaks website, WikiLeaks, has been missing for nearly two weeks, following a string of strange messages posted to his Twitter account. Rumors have been flying since then that Julian Assange could be dead. Assange put those fears to rest on Wednesday when he made a live “phone appearance” at a conference call in Argentina. The call from Julian Assange can be heard via a computer screen and was captured on video, which was then uploaded to YouTube, according to a new article by Heavy on Wednesday.
On October 16, Ecuador said they had cut off internet access to Julian Assange, making it impossible for the online activist to communicate on the WikiLeaks website or social media accounts linked to WikiLeaks. News that Assange had been cut off from the internet came after three “cryptic” tweets had been sent out via a dead man’s switch on Twitter, also on October 16, according to Mashable. Julian Assange supporters instantly feared that he was dead, simply because a “dead man’s switch” is presumably triggered after someone’s demise.
No one has heard from Julian Assange in 2 weeks since his internet access was shut down. His co-founder is dead. His lawyer is dead. pic.twitter.com/fBXkCzswf9
— Vox America (@VoxAmerica) October 26, 2016
However, Ecuador had allegedly just decided to disallow Julian Assange from using the government internet connection, especially since he began releasing leaked and hacked emails from the Democratic presidential nominee’s, Hillary Clinton’s, private email server earlier this month. Julian Assange has been staying at an Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012, where he’s been conducting business, along with his staff — regularly publishing secret information from unnamed sources to WikiLeaks. A series of damaging emails called the “Podesta emails” started publishing on WikiLeaks on October 7, and Ecuador apparently didn’t want to get caught up in interference with the U.S. presidential election.
WikiLeaks Editorial Board statement on the status of Julian Assange, Ecuador and the US election pic.twitter.com/bYyWwMG5Ox
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 24, 2016
The dead man’s switch was triggered on the WikiLeaks Twitter account, not because Julian Assange was dead, but because he was considered the “human operator” of WikiLeaks and had been removed from control when he lost access to the internet. WikiLeaks’ staff members even assured Julian Assange’s thousands of followers that their editor was “safe and still in full command, despite reduced communications with staff.” In fact, WikiLeaks continues to publish leaks as usual, according to ABC News on Thursday, with the latest leaked emails raising questions about money taken in by the Clinton Foundation, a non-profit charity organization founded in 1997 by former President Bill Clinton in order to raise funds for humanitarian programs worldwide.
But people called for more proof that Julian Assange was still alive, especially after WikiLeaks’ director, Gavin MacFadyen, was “found dead” on October 22. Snopes reports that the American investigative journalist actually died from lung cancer at the age of 76, surrounded by family and friends, but that news didn’t stop Julian Assange and WikiLeaks’ fans from wondering if MacFadyen had actually been murdered because of his ties to WikiLeaks. Even WikiLeaks’ staff members said it would be difficult to provide solid proof that Assange was still alive, after Twitter followers said they would only accept video as proof.
— Emmy B (@greekemmy) October 27, 2016
Assange supporters did get their video proof on Wednesday, but only of a photo of Julian Assange, along with what’s supposed to be a live conference call with Julian Assange speaking. Express shared the video of the telephone call that allegedly took place at the International Conference of Free Software on Wednesday in Argentina. The video somehow made it online and was even uploaded to YouTube, but comments suggest that the voice of Julian Assange was mimicked by software, and that the video isn’t real proof that he’s alive, even though Assange can be heard saying that “this is the first time I have spoken to people outside the embassy since my internet was cut off.”
“It is unusual for me to be trying to do a talk by telephone.”
Julian Assange has promised that he will end Hillary Clinton’s career, along with the entire Democratic party, with the leaked “Podesta emails,” and people are wondering if Clinton’s campaign really did “drone” the WikiLeaks’ founder, as previously suggested by USA Politics Today, even despite the recent “lengthy” telephone conference video, as well as WikiLeaks’ staff assuring supporters that he’s still “safe and alive.” Even the government of Ecuador has said that it just wants to keep Julian Assange safe and protect his rights at the embassy, without interfering in what they call the “journalistic work” of WikiLeaks.
And, now, even Barack Obama’s family wants to help Julian Assange — who says he’s only a publisher, not a hacker. Malik Obama, Barack Obama’s older half-brother, is asking for Julian Assange to be pardoned. Malik tweeted on Wednesday, asking his brother to “please pardon Julian Assange,” because all he’s doing is “freeing emails.” Some Twitter followers seem to agree with Malik, saying that Julian Assange can’t be blamed for the “Podesta emails,” only the people who wrote them. Malik Obama’s followers also say that Julian Assange will surely receive a pardon when Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, becomes president.
[Featured Image by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images]