WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Monday he would “soon” leave Ecuador’s embassy in London, where he has sought asylum for over two years.
He told a press conference he “will be leaving the embassy soon” but not for reasons “reported by the Murdoch press,” without elaborating further.
British media reported over the weekend, quoting a WikiLeaks source, that he was suffering from the potentially life-threatening heart condition arrhythmia and had a chronic lung complaint as well as dangerously high blood pressure.
“Being detained in various ways in this country without charge for four years and in this embassy for two years which has no outside area, therefore no sunlight … it is an environment in which any healthy person would find themselves soon enough with certain difficulties,” he said.
Assange was accompanied at the press conference by Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino.
Patino said he would seek to meet with British Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond to resolve the situation, Sky News reported.
He did not mention a plan for Assange to leave the embassy but called for the governments involved in his case to take action.
“The situation must come to an end — two years is simply too long,” he said. “We continue to offer him our protection. We continue to be ready to talk with the British government and the Swedish government to find a solution to this serious breach of Julian Assange’s human rights.”
Assange has been taking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012. He faces extradition by Sweden in connection with charges of alleged sexual offenses.