Ecuador's Foreign Ministry: Assange granted Ecuadorian citizenship

Randolph Lopez
January 12, 2018

Ecuador has granted citizenship to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been living in asylum at the nation's embassy in London for more than five years.

Swedish prosecutors in May dropped their investigation into the rape allegations, but British police have said Assange would still be arrested if he left the embassy.

Julian Assange faces arrest for breaking his bail conditions if he leaves Ecuador's London Embassy, where he was granted asylum in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual assault allegations.

The UK Foreign Office reportedly rejected a request from Quito to grant the whistle-blower diplomatic status.

The decision to grant citizenship comes amid flurry of activity suggesting that Ecuador had ramped up efforts to find a solution for Assange.

Assange made its first big headlines in April 2010 with the release of footage showing a United States helicopter shooting civilians and two Reuters staff in Iraq. Assange has been holed up in the embassy since then, unable to leave the building in six years.

Records showed that the documents had been delivered to Mr Assange on December 21, the newspaper said. The Ecuadorian government has granted him political asylum.

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Later, the WikiLeaks founder tweeted an image of himself wearing Ecuador's national football team shirt. Instead, the government released a statement today that did not mention that passport, but said that Ecuador has been complying with worldwide laws while also protecting human rights, and has been seeking alternatives to Assange's situation.

Referencing a 2016 UN ruling that said Assange was being "arbitrarily detained", WikiLeaks responded: "The UN ruling, issued nearly two years ago, is crystal clear in its language".

Assange's legal team this week reiterated its demand that London abide by the United Nations ruling declaring him to be unlawfully and arbitrarily detained and calling for him to be freed and compensated. Assange's legal team has called on United Kingdom and Swedish authorities to end his "deprivation of liberty, respect his physical integrity and freedom of movement, and afford him the right to compensation".

The big question is what's taking Ecuador so long to get rid of Assange, and whether they're so desperate to get him out of the embassy that they'd really want to house him permanently as the only option.

When he came into power in May 2017, Moreno appeared to have adopted the same stance as his predecessor Rafael Correa, who defended Assange.

The demand for an end to the state persecution of Julian Assange must be taken up by the global working class.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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