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Wikileaks' Assange gives media statement in London: photos

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange gave a statement to protesters and the media from the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Sunday.
By Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
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1 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

U.K. police guard the front door of the Ecuadorian embassy. Ecuadorian soil is an apartment on the ground floor of the building. The hallways inside and the front door are still considered U.K. soil.

All images are in chronological order from 11 a.m. BST.

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2 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Protesters and the world's media alike gather in front of the embassy's building. One protester is seen speaking amicably to a U.K. police officer guarding the building.

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3 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Protesters from around the U.K. descended on the embassy -- a stones throw away from London's Harrods store -- donning Anonymous-style motifs.

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4 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

One protester is seen with a t-shirt for the Russian punk band "Pussy Riot." Its three members were sent to prison for two years late last week for hooliganism. Russia was mentioned during Assange's speech.

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5 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

One protester holds a placard saying: "Blowing the whistle on war crimes is not a crime," in response to a number of Wikileaks releases that blew the whistle on high-profile controversial and often violent events.

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6 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

This poingnant image shows a "Free Assange the Messenger" placard blocking out the police surrounding the Ecuadorian embassy should Assange attempt to leave. The protester was behind the police line set up to give law enforcement space to breathe.

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7 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

The police came close to outnumbering the protesters. There was roughly two protesters to each police officer on the scene. 

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8 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

The protesters remained peaceful and chanted a number of slogans. Scotland Yard said it had not arrested any protesters or members of the public before, during, or after today's statement by the Wikileaks founder.

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9 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

A sign held up by a protester said Julian Assange was "not running," he was "fighting."

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10 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Citizen journalists hold video cameras and documenting the police in case of violence -- as seen in protests not too long ago in the British capital. This protester masked his face, something he is not allowed to do under British law if told otherwise by a police officer.

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11 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Another placard is covered in red ink and written "by a Swedish woman," in response to the claims made by two Swedish women who claimed sexual crimes against Julian Assange in 2010.

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12 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

People old and young, British and foreign came to hear what Julian Assange had to say. This photo was taken in the hour before the Wikileaks founder was due to speak.

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13 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Police continue to hold back protesters and the media from the building in order to maintain the road as a public thoroughfare. The London-based police officers are no stranger to the world's media in high-profile situations such as this.

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14 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

One police officer talks to a protester wearing an Anonymous mask, an image first seen in the 'V for Vendetta' comics and subsequent film in the early-2000's.

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15 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

A protester questions why Assange is held "under siege," following the U.K. government's threat to Ecudaor that it could storm the embassy under existing British law.

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16 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

A police officer sitting on a motorcycle on his mobile device, detaching himself from the events unfolding in front of him.

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17 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Police officers are seen discussing likely forthcoming events of the day, ahead of Julian Assange's statement to the public, protesters, and the press.

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18 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Perhaps the perfect image of the entire event: one elderly 'protester' speaks to police officers as she walked past the Ecuadorian embassy in Knightsbridge. The mood around the area was calm and relaxed.

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19 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

A swarm of police officers walk down the side street of the Ecuadorian embassy, close to the balcony where Assange was due to give his speech, to ensure the rights of the diplomatic status-held building remains intact, and that protesters and members of the public do not get too close to the building.

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20 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Members of the media mark out where their cameras should go in order to get the best view of the Wikileaks founder, who emerged just after 2 p.m. BST (9 a.m. ET) in central London.

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21 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

One foreign journalist clashed with police in order to get closer to the embassy. The confrontation was short-lived, and no arrests were made. 

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22 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Head of Assange's legal team Baltazar Garzon speaks to the media ahead of Julian Assange's statement an hour later.

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23 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

One man, believed to be involved with the Ecuadorian embassy, looks up at the building ahead of the announcements. The unnamed man introduced a number of people to speak to the media ahead of Assange's statement.

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24 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Craig Murray, former ambassador to Uzbekistan, spoke to the media ahead of Assange's statement, responding to questions about British law and police entering the embassy to "legally" arrest the Wikileaks founder.

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25 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

A riot police vehicle remains hidden from sight, but prepared in case protesters become riled. In many past cases, anarchists have hijacked peaceful demonstrations and protests and the police have reacted often with excessive force and tactics.

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26 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Julian Assange emerges from the embassy on a balcony and gives a thumbs-up to the world's media and protesters gathering on the street.

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27 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

The Wikileaks founder pauses for a moment for silence before reading out his statement.

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28 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

A U.K. police officer stands in front of the embassy building as Julian Assange gives his statement.

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29 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Julian Assange stands on the balcony — around six feet away from U.K. soil — as he criticizes the U.S. government for the "witch hunt" against his organization, Wikileaks.

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30 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Assange's pre-prepared statement was cautious to avoid political rhetoric as this would have breached his asylum conditions with the Ecuadorian government. However, the statement was very strongly worded in opposition of the U.S. government's tactics and actions.

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31 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

A camera operator can be seen to the bottom-left of the picture, taking close-up video of Assange's speech, which lasted no more than 10 minutes.

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32 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

Julian Assange raises his hand though remains calm throughout his statement to the media.

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33 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

A tall police officer probably could have grabbed Julian Assange's foot should they have wished. This, however, would have been in breach of Ecuadorian law on its territory. One lawyer on the scene warned the police against such action.

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34 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

After his remarks, the Wikileaks front-man went back into the embassy. One placard with the Ecuadorian flag stated, "We are your friends!"

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35 of 35 Charlie Osborne/ZDNET

An Ecuadorian man stands outside the embassy holding his country's flag to the world's media.

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