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Assange Reveals UK Spied on Scottish Nationalists During Independence Vote

© East News / UPI Photo / eyevineYes campaigners carry flags on the day Scottish residents decide the future political direction their country will take in Glasgow,Scotland on September 18, 2014
Yes campaigners carry flags on the day Scottish residents decide the future political direction their country will take in Glasgow,Scotland on September 18, 2014 - Sputnik International
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said that UK Government considered Scottish independence as a threat to the state and British security services spied on supporters of Scottish independence during the independence referendum.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange - Sputnik International
WikiLeaks Founder Assange to Speak on Privacy at Glasgow Lawyers Conference
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Supporters of Scottish independence are right to think British security services spied on them during last year's referendum, as Scotland's sovereignty was equated to a security threat, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Wednesday.

On September 18 2014, Scotland held a referendum on independence from the United Kingdom. Over 55 percent of the Scottish electorate rejected the motion.

"The attitude of the UK Government is that this is a national security issue, that Scottish independence is, in effect, a threat to the state," Assange told the Herald Scotland via videolink from the Embassy of Equador in London, where he currently resides.

The Wikileaks founder added that regarding the threat to national security, "the full capacities of the GCHQ [British intelligence and security organization], for example, could be deployed."

I believe perhaps more strongly than I ever have that we will be independent… But that will only happen when a majority of our fellow citizens vote for that in a referendum so our task remains as it has always been, not to impose our will, not to berate those who disagree with us, but to persuade, Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Nicola Sturgeon said at an SNP conference. - Sputnik International
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According to the Herald, a number of Scottish nationalists, including former leader of the SNP (Scottish National Party) Jim Sillars, have long had concerns that the UK surveillance network has a keen interest in them.

Asked by the paper if they were paranoid to think the UK intelligence agencies were involved in last year's independence referendum, Assange said "they are not at all paranoid."

Assange is an Australian journalist, who came to prominence after publishing classified US government documents on the Wilileaks website in 2010. Assange has been wanted for alleged sexual assault in Sweden since 2010.

The Wikileaks founder has argued that his attempted extradition to Sweden was a plot to hand him over to the United States, where he could be tried under the US Espionage Act of 1917 for disclosing classified US government documents online through WikiLeaks.

Since 2012, Assange has been residing in the Ecuadorean embassy in central London.

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