Julian Assange To Appear Via Videolink At Cambridge University Union

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Julian Assange is to appear at the Cambridge University Union via videolink on 27 December, amid voices of protest from some students.

It is yet to be confirmed what the WikiLeaks founder is due to speak on, but Cambridge University newspaper the Tab reports Assange will answer questions, for the first time since he jumped bail and sought asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

His appearance has prompted anger from the CUSU Women’s Campaign, who are planning to protest against the Union providing a platform for a man accused of sexual offences.

julian assange

Julian Assange's last public appearance was via videolink at a fringe UN event

Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden over claims of sexual assault but is refusing to travel to Scandinavia amid fears he will be extradited to the United States over his controversial website.

Last time he appeared at the Union was over a year ago where he defended the role of WikiLeaks and claimed his whistle-blowing website played a crucial role in sparking the Arab spring.

He was given a standing ovation by a packed debating chamber, although some expressed reservations about the 41-year-old journalist.

Robin McGhee, a 19-year-old Oxford student living in Cambridge told the Independent at the time: "I respect him as a person, for what he has done and what WikiLeaks has published.

"But as someone who stands for openness and transparency, I have serious reservations about how closed he is about his own story."

dominck strauss khan

Student protesters fought with police outside the Cambridge Union when ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn came to speak

Austin Mahler, the Camridge Union President, told The Tab: "Hosting a speaker does not imply endorsement or disapproval on the part of the Society. We invite people to speak at the Union regardless of their ideology or background.”

However the National Union of Students banned George Galloway for being a "rape denier" in September after the Respect MP made outspoken comments about the case of Assange said the allegations against Assange "don't constitute rape" and were at worst "bad sexual etiquette."

An NUS spokesperson told The Huffington Post UK in September: “NUS believes that there is a culture of undermining rape victims and rejects attempts to glorify, joke about or dismiss rape.

"The motion passed yesterday confirms that NUS shall not offer a platform to speakers who are rape deniers or apologists, or support events where such individuals speak.

"NUS will campaign to tackle attitudes on campus that trivialise sexual assault or seek to blame survivors, and instead promote a better understanding of consent.”

Galloway later said he planned to sue the student union for defamation.

The last time Julian Assange spoke publicly was in a video message to a UN fringe event in which he accused US President Barack Obama of exploiting the Arab Spring revolutions for political gain in a video message to a UN fringe event.