Sunday, 21 January, 2018

Ecuador grants citizenship to Assange

Assange's'eviction may be a result of his disagreement with Ecuador's President Assange's'eviction may be a result of his disagreement with Ecuador's President
Jay Anderson | 12 January, 2018, 06:22

On Thursday the UK Foreign Office revealed that the government of Ecuador had recently requested diplomatic status for Assange in the UK.

Ecuador's foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa said Assange was naturalised as a citizen on 12 December, at his request.

The WikiLeaks co-founder has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy fighting sexual assault allegations in Sweden. Prosecutors there dropped the case previous year, but Assange remained in the embassy after British police said he would still be arrested for violating bail conditions.

The 46-year-old Australian still fears being sent to the USA to face charges over WikiLeaks' release of secret USA government documents.

He was wanted in Sweden for questioning over rape accusations. He added that Assange will not leave Ecuador's embassy while there are no security guarantees.

"The UK did not grant that request, nor are we in talks with Ecuador on this matter", an FCO spokesman said.

Julian Assange has been granted an Ecuadorian passport just a day after threatening to kick him out of its London embassy, it has been claimed.




In July 2014 a Swedish court upholds the European arrest warrant against Assange and in November Assange loses an appeal against the arrest warrant. The Swedish prosecutors halted the case against Assange in September 2017. The US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, said last May that Assange's arrest was now a "priority".

He said the decision to grant him asylum in 2012 had "generated problems" in Ecuador and had only discredited the country overseas, particularly in the United States.

Assange has been living in a small office at the country's London Embassy, which gave him asylum in August 2012.

In February 2016, the United Nations panel confirms its view that Assange has been "arbitrarily detained", saying he should be able to claim compensation from Britain and Sweden.

Assange's newfound citizenship has again escalated tensions with Britain, though it's likely that he'll leverage the status to make a move out of the Ecuadorian embassy once and for all.

Assange fuelled rumours by Tweeting a photo of himself in the Ecuador national football team kit.

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