The veteran rock star has expressed his admiration for Julian Assange, using recent concerts to show his support and urging fans to “resist” efforts to silence the WikiLeaks co-founder.
Roger Waters traveled to Quito, Ecuador on Wednesday to urge the country’s government not to renege on its commitment to shelter Julian Assange in its London embassy.
“He needs to be protected. We cannot let the United States and the UK and all the other acolytes of the evil empire incarcerate this great man and kill him, which is what they will do,” Waters said.
“There seems to be a wavering in that resolve,” the rock icon added.
Assange received asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy in 2012 after being accused of sexual crimes in Sweden. Assange decried the allegations, calling them an undisguised effort to smear him. Sweden dropped the charges in 2017. However, Assange has stayed at the embassy amid UK threats to arrest him and fears that he would be extradited to the US for prosecution over WikiLeaks’ leaking of secret illegal US activities worldwide.
This week, President Trump said he didn’t “know anything about” Assange amid US media reports that the Justice Department was preparing to indict him. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly praised Assange and WikiLeaks for its release of Democratic National Committee emails confirming a party conspiracy to ensure Hillary Clinton’s election as the Democratic Party’s candidate in the primaries.
Last week, Assange lawyer Carlos Poveda confirmed to Sputnik that Ecuador might extradite his client, and said that Quito may have reached an agreement on the issue with London and Washington.
Since his election in 2017, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno has described Assange as a “stone in our shoe” amid efforts to improve relations with the US. Earlier this month, former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa requested asylum in Belgium after an Ecuadorian judge ruled that he should stand trial over the alleged kidnapping of a former political rival involved in a failed coup plot against Correa in 2010.