Assange, 45, has been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012, after taking refuge there to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations of rape, which he denies.
He fears Sweden will in turn hand him over to the US to face prosecution over WikiLeaks' publication of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents in one of the largest information leaks in US history.
Lawyer Per Samuelson says the US has now openly said it wants to arrest Assange. "Given that the US is obviously hunting him now, he has to make use of his political asylum and it is Sweden's duty to make sure that Sweden is no longer a reason for that fact he has to stay in the embassy," Samuelson said.
[He] has asked a Swedish court to rescind a detention order against the WikiLeaks founder over an alleged rape and allow him to go to Ecuador to be safe from extradition to the US.
"If they rescind the detention order, there is a possibility he can go to Ecuador and then he can use political asylum in an entire country."