Assange loses internet access at embassy

Elias Hubbard
March 28, 2018

Assange has been a guest of the the Ecuadorian government at its London embassy since 2012, when he was sought for questioning over sexual assault allegations in Sweden.

"The government of Ecuador warns that Assange's behavior, through his messages on social networks, put at risk the country's good relations with the United Kingdom, the other states of the European Union, and other nations", a statement from the government says, the Guardian reported on Wednesday.

Ecuadorian officials said the measure was taken in response to Assange's recent activity on social media, which was seen as a violation of a 2017 written agreement that prevents him from sending any messages that could interfere with the South American nation's relations with other countries.

He has now been living in the embassy for more than five years.

The Swedish authorities have since dropped their investigation, but Mr Assange believes he will be extradited to the USA for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks if he leaves the building.

Earlier this week, he published a series of tweets questioning the decision of more than 20 countries to expel Russian diplomats in solidarity with the UK's claims Moscow was responsible for the Salisbury spy poisoning.

Now, for at least the second time, Assange's internet connection has been cut off.

The comments prompted a British Foreign Office minister, Alan Duncan, to brand Assange a "miserable little worm" who should leave the embassy to turn himself over to British authorities. While he says he has since been exonerated on those charges, Assange remains in asylum for fear he would immediately be arrested and sent to the USA to face charges for WikiLeaks' numerous government intel dumps.

But it has also sought ways for him to leave the embassy without risking arrest for breaching his bail conditions, and possible extradition to the USA over the 2010 publication of classified information by WikiLeaks.

Back in January, the Ecuadorian government tried to help nudge its long-term houseguest out the door by making him a citizen and trying to designate him a diplomat, but that scheme was only partially successful as the diplomatic status was denied.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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