Julian Assange arrested: WikiLeaks founder arrested in London

Adjust Comment Print

Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno said the country terminated asylum for Assange due to repeated violations of global conventions, but Wikileaks claimed on Twitter that Ecuador was "in violation of worldwide law" by essentially kicking out the Australian national.

Ecuador's president said his government withdrew asylum status for Assange nearly seven years after he sought refuge in Ecuador's embassy in London, citing "repeated violations of global conventions and daily-life protocols".

Sweden has dropped an investigation into rape allegations against Assange, but he refuses to come out for fear of facing USA charges related to WikiLeaks' publication of classified documents.

US prosecutors have not brought formal charges against Assange, but the WikiLeaks co-founder has suspected that he faces criminal charges under seal, meaning they have been prepared secretly.

Rafael Correa, who was Ecuadorian president when Assange was granted asylum, has strongly condemned his successor's decision to withdraw protection for the Australian computer programmer.

That probe was later dropped, but Assange fears he could be extradited to face charges in the United States, where federal prosecutors are investigating WikiLeaks.

In a video statement posted to Twitter on Thursday, President of Ecuador Lenín Moreno said the country was withdrawing asylum due to Assange's "discourteous and aggressive behavior".

Shortly after the arrest, WikiLeaks tweeted that the Ecuadorian ambassador invited the British police into the embassy in order to arrest Assange.

DE BLASIO'S NYC: Mayor Declares 'Health Emergency' as Measles Outbreak Hits Brooklyn
He referred to the large number of cases as "measles-crisis", against the mandatory vaccination , but will help. This article was written by Alex Horton and Lindsey Bever, reporters for The Washington Post .

Assange, 47, was arrested by British police on Thursday, paving the way for possible extradition to the United States.

Moreno has said, however, that he asked that Assange not be extradited to a country with the death penalty. "No one is above the law".

Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said in a statement that Assange was "no hero".

Kristinn Hrafnsson, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, accused Ecuador authorities of gathering thousands of photographs and videos, which then found their way into the hands of a group in Spain, who were demanding $3 million (2.7 million euros) not to publish them.

WikiLeaks is an organization that facilitates the anonymous leaking of secret information through its website.

Footage from the scene showed a bearded, ponytailed Assange being carried from the embassy by up to seven police, and placed into a waiting van. Assange's lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, said she would fight the extradition request which set "a risky precedent".

Ecuadorian authorities warned last October that Mr Assange should stop allowing his cat to stray and should also avoid political interference using the embassy's Internet connection.

Comments