Published: Thu, March 29, 2018
Markets | By Josh Butler

Ecuador stops Assange communications outside its London embassy

Ecuador stops Assange communications outside its London embassy

The Ecuadorean government of President Lenin Moreno has left Wikileaks founder Julian Assange without access to the internet at their embassy in London, it was reported Wednesday.

Officials said Assange's internet access was blocked Tuesday because of his recent activity on social media in which he slammed the arrest of a Catalonian separatist leader.

Ecuador granted Assange asylum in the South American nation's London embassy in 2012, where he has remained cooped up ever since.

The move to cut off Assange came after he used Twitter on Monday to challenge Britain's accusation that Russia was responsible for the March 4 nerve agent poisoning of a Russian former double agent in the English city of Salisbury.

The Swedish investigation was dropped in May previous year, but Assange, who was on bail at the time when he walked into the embassy, faces arrest by the British authorities for breaching his bail terms should he step outside.

He also questioned the decision by Britain and more than 20 countries to retaliate against the poisoning by expelling Russian diplomats deemed spies.

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The Government of Ecuador warns that Assange's behavior, with his messages through social media, puts the good relations that the country has with the United Kingdom, the rest of the states of the European Union, and other nations at risk.

Kim Dotcom, a German internet tycoon who has always been vocal of his support for Assange's freedom, urged other supporters to gather outside the embassy on Wednesday to help Assange regain his Internet connection.

He remains subject to arrest in Britain for skipping bail and also fears a possible US extradition request based on his leaking of classified US State Department documents.

The comments prompted a British Foreign Office minister, Alan Duncan, to brand Mr Assange a "miserable little worm" who should leave the embassy to turn himself over to British authorities.

"The government of Ecuador suspended the systems that allow Julian Assange to communicate with the outside world from the Ecuadorian embassy in London", the Secretary of Communication said Wednesday in a press release, in which he affirms that the decision began to be applied a day earlier.

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