Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Ecuador Grants Citizenship To Julian Assange, Who Lives In London Embassy

Ecuador Grants Citizenship To Julian Assange, Who Lives In London Embassy

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange becomes a citizen of Ecuador more than five years after moving into its London embassy to escape arrest, over a rape investigation that he claims is linked to his whistle-blowing activities.

Media reports in Britain quoted Ecuador's Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa responding to the decision, as saying: "No solution will be achieved without worldwide cooperation and the co-operation of the United Kingdom, which has also shown interest in seeking a way out".

Assange received diplomatic asylum from Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa in mid-2012 on the grounds that his life would be in danger if Assange was extradited to the United States to face charges for leaking classified information. Although Sweden is no longer seeking his extradition, Assange has refused to leave, saying that he fears Britain would extradite him to the United States to face charges relating to his involvement in multiple releases of documents that US officials say have damaged national security. London denied Ecuador's request to grant Assange diplomatic status, which would give him safe passage out of the embassy.

Assange has refused to step outside the embassy and claimed he fears being extradited to the United States over WikiLeaks' publication of secret USA military documents and diplomatic cables in 2010.

He was wanted in Sweden for questioning over rape accusations.

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"We have reminded Mr Assange that he has no reason to interfere in Ecuadorian politics because his status does not allow it", Moreno told a Spanish newspaper.

Following the announcement from the Foreign Office, Assange in a tweet said, "The US & UK governments continue their attempts to arrest me in violation of two United Nations rulings and their own laws".

August 2010: An arrest warrant is issued for Julian Assange after his trip to Sweden. You also can't blame the man for trying to get out in a way that would make it harder for him to be extradited to the United States of America, particularly after US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said his arrest was "a priority" last April. The Swedish prosecutors halted the case against Assange in September 2017. The Ecuadorian government has granted him political asylum.

Following reports of the news in Ecuadorean media on Wednesday, Assange tweeted a photo of himself wearing the jersey of Ecuador's national soccer team.

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