The saga surrounding WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's detention in the Ecuadorian embassy in London gets stranger by the day. Assange has been living in the embassy for over six years after taking refuge there to avoid a feared extradition to the U.S. on what he believes are "trumped up" charges.
Assange believes that the U.K. and Swedish governments are in collusion with the U.S. administration to ensure that he is extradited. As reported by the Inquisitr last week, Assange defied Swedish authorities by releasing papers that, he claims, show him totally innocent of the allegations made against him in a sexual assault case.
Assange's statement came just a few days after the United Nations upheld their judgment, from February of 2016, that Assange was being unlawfully detained in the embassy. In his statement, Assange claimed that the UN found that he was being treated inhumanely.
"In February this year the United Nations found that Prosecutor Ny has caused Sweden and the UK to breach their international human rights obligations. The UN found that her actions are subjecting me to 'cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment' and an unlawful deprivation of liberty which must immediately cease.
"On 30 November the United Nations re-affirmed its decision in relation to my case."
Those who have been following recent developments in Assange's case are aware that he has not been seen for some time. In October, Assange and WikiLeaks released copies of emails relating to Hillary Clinton and John Podesta. Assange claimed that there would be more releases in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election -- then Assange went quiet. The Ecuadorian embassy was later forced to admit that they had cut off Assange's internet access to stop him interfering with the U.S. election.
Since that time, Assange has not made any of his frequent appearances on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy.
Is Julian Assange Alive Or Dead?
Since Assange disappeared from public view, rumors have been circulating suggesting that he has been assassinated or renditioned to the U.S. by the CIA. There have been some odd occurrences at the Ecuadorian embassy. Firstly, British police officers were withdrawn from their 24-hour presence outside the embassy. Shortly afterward, the Mirror reported that an intruder had been disturbed at the embassy in what they say may have been an attempt on Assange's life.
In October, WikiLeaks expressed concern that "heavily armed police" had surrounded the Ecuadorian embassy where Assange has been granted political asylum.
The same day, London City airport was closed and evacuated after a "chemical incident." Rumors claim that these two events added up to Assange being illegally renditioned from London into U.S. custody, possibly at the Guantanamo Bay detention center.
After these events, Assange and WikiLeaks were inundated with requests demanding that Assange give "proof of life." WikiLeaks responded by telling people to stop asking Assange to prove he was alive. Many people saw it as very odd when Assange did not make a balcony appearance either on the day the UN made its illegal detention finding or on the anniversary of his detention.
The release of a statement by Assange would seem to indicate that he is alive and well, but the statement was released on a Justice for Assange website rather than directly through WikiLeaks. The statement is still not available on the WikiLeaks website, where the last statement from Assange was published on November 8.
So, Where Is Julian Assange Now?
The only facts about Assange's current whereabouts are that he has been unable to leave the Ecuadorian embassy by legal means. The Observer reported that both Sweden and the U.K. have indicated that they will defy the UN court ruling on Assange's detention.
"Despite the ruling, the U.K. and Sweden continue to undermine the United Nation's system of human rights protection and the countries' commitment to the United Nations, in which it serves as members."
It seems that the U.K. and Sweden are both determined to see Assange in custody. Neither Assange nor WikiLeaks will be heartened by developments over the past few days.
Over the weekend, a former member of the Icelandic government claimed that the FBI tried to frame Assange. Ogmundur Jonasson said that the FBI sent a "planeload" of agents to Iceland in August of 2011, under the pretense that they were there to prevent a cyber-attack on the Icelandic government.
Jonasson claims the FBI was seeking Iceland's "cooperation in what I understood as an operation set up to frame Julian Assange and WikiLeaks." Jonasson said he immediately told the FBI agents to leave the country.Claims have also emerged in recent days linking Assange to the Clinton email scandal and the DNC leak. It has been suggested that Assange was a Russian agent, in collaboration with Vladimir Putin, to ensure that Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election. Most people are aware that claims have emerged stating that the DNC leak was part of a Russian state-sponsored hacking attack.
On December 9, a New York Times report said that the CIA had "high confidence" covert Russian forces interfered with the 2016 presidential election with the ultimate aim of seeing Donald Trump in the White House. Those claims have been dismissed by WikiLeaks, Julian Assange's associates, and by President-elect Trump.
People are asking why Assange doesn't simply make an appearance on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy to prove that he is alive and well. This simple act would stop the rumors in an instant.
[Featured Image by Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP Images]