UK

Julian Assange supporters hold vigil to mark 1,000 days in embassy

Julian Assange Image copyright Yui Mok
Image caption Julian Assange has spent 1,000 days in the Ecuador embassy

Supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange are to hold a vigil to mark his 1,000th day inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Mr Assange sought refuge at the embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning over sex assault allegations.

On Friday, there was a U-turn from Swedish prosecutors who offered to travel to London to interview him.

Sympathisers with placards are expected to gather outside the embassy later.

Mr Assange sought asylum at the Ecuadorean Embassy on 19 June 2012 shortly after the supreme court rejected his final appeal against extradition.

Image copyright REUTERS/Toby Melville
Image caption Ecuador offered Mr Assange asylum in August 2012, shortly after he sought refuge in London

Death penalty fears

He is wanted for questioning relating to one count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation, and one count of rape against two women in 2010.

Mr Assange denies the allegations and has said they are part of a smear campaign against him.

He argues that if he is sent to Sweden, he could then be extradited to the US where he fears he will face the death penalty for publishing leaked US diplomatic cables.

For 1,000 days he has remained in a small room with a bed, sun lamp, computer, shower, treadmill and cooking facilities, the BBC's Jon Ironmonger said.

Last month, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe admitted the total cost of guarding the Embassy had exceeded £10 million.

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