In a sometimes combative interview Wednesday on “OutFront with Erin Burnett,” Assange described strategic surveillance by governments as a “sea change in politics” that puts freedoms at risk.
When pushed about Ecuador‘s press freedom record, described by the Committee to Protect Journalists as one of the worst in Latin America, Assange said: “Its people have been generous to me, but it’s not a significant world player.”
“Whatever little things occurring in small countries are not of concern,” he said. “We must concentrate on what is happening in the entire civilization of the world.”
Assange: Obama admin. was ‘corrupted’
Assange fled to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in June to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations that he raped one woman and sexually molested another. Assange has said he fears Sweden will transfer him to the United States, where he could face the death penalty for the work of WikiLeaks.
He has repeatedly said the allegations are politically motivated and tied to the work of his website, which facilitates the publication of secret documents. WikiLeaks has published hundreds of thousands of pages of American government diplomatic cables and assessments of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
He has not been charged in the United States, though Assange and his supporters claim a U.S. grand jury has been empanelled to consider charges against him.