Greg O'Connor to accept petition asking New Zealand to give Julian Assange asylum

  • 13/09/2018
Julian Assange peers through a window of the embassy.
Julian Assange peers through a window of the embassy. Photo credit: Getty

A support group campaigning for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to get political asylum New Zealand will present a petition to Parliament.

MP Greg O'Connor will receive the petition from Free Assange NZ at Parliament due to a request from a constituent in his electorate Ohariu.

Its presentation was initially delayed due to an inability to find a politician willing to accept it. More than 2000 people have signed the petition, according to the Daily Mail.

Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012, fearing he would be extradited to the US if he was forced to answer questions from Swedish authorities investigating rape complaints against him.

The charges were dropped last year, but Assange remains in the embassy - UK police have said they still plan to arrest him, since he breached his bail by hiding the embassy.

Alex Hills, a spokesperson for the petition, said in a statement Assange had been subjected to torture while hiding in the embassy.

"Julian has been illegally detained in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for six years without access to medical care and is currently enduring a solitary confinement which legally meets the definition of torture (14 days is the legal limit)," he said.

"He has had no access to visitors and has been denied internet and phone connection."

It has been reported the embassy is considering removing Assange as the current president of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, does not support him.