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Ecuador withdraws asylum for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange – president

Published: April 11, 2019
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Source: RT

Ecuador has withdrawn an asylum it granted to Julian Assange, the country’s president declared as the WikiLeaks founder was being evicted from Ecuadorian embassy where he was hiding for the last six years.

The Ecuadorian government has decided “to withdraw the diplomatic asylum of Julian Assange for a repeated violation of international conventions and a protocol of coexistence,” president Lenin Moreno has said in a televised speech on Thursday. 

Assange was arrested by the British police inside the Ecuadorian Embassy around the time that the statement was released. He took refuge in the London embassy seven years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he was wanted in connection with sexual assault allegations that were later dropped.

Moreno has accused Assange of “violating the norm of not intervening in internal affairs of other states.” He continued: “The patience of Ecuador has reached its limits on the behavior of Mr Assange.”

The world-renowned whistleblower installed “electronic and distortion equipment” at the embassy, blocked CCTV cameras, and also “confronted and mistreated guards.” Softening his tone, the president added that he had requested the UK to guarantee that Assange will not be extradited to countries where he may face torture or the death penalty.

Blasting the decision by Moreno, Wikileaks tweeted that the arrest was “in violation of international law.”

 

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WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson has alleged that an extensive spying operation was conducted against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during his time in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. During an explosive press conference, which is still underway, Hrafnsson alleges that the operation was designed to get Assange extradited. WikiLeaks claims that it was told that Assange’s extradition was imminent.

As dozens of supporters massed outside its London embassy, Ecuadorian officials late Friday denied reports that they had been planning to unilaterally revoke the asylum first granted to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in 2012, expelling the controversial journalist from their London embassy and handing him over to British police for arrest on charges that he skipped out on his bail - which would have likely set in motion a chain of events ending with Assange's extradition to the US.

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said Tuesday he would decide “in the short term” the fate of Julian Assange after claiming that WikiLeaks had “repeatedly violated” the terms of Assange’s asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy by commenting on a scandal linking a Panamanian investment company with Moreno and his family.

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