Ecuador’s president, Lenin Moreno, has issued a video explaining his decision to withdraw Julian Assange’s asylum status after seven years. Moreno complained about Assange’s behaviour and accused him of being involved in “interfering in internal affairs of other states” while in the embassy.
He said the asylum of Assange “is unsustainable and no longer viable” because he had repeatedly violated “clear cut provisions of the conventions of diplomatic asylum”, citing the recent leak of Vatican documents by Wikileaks.
The statement continued:
The patience of Ecuador has reached its limit on the behaviour of Mr Assange. He installed electronic and distortion equipment not allowed. He blocked the security cameras of the Ecuadorian mission in London. He has confronted and mistreated guards. He had accessed the security files of our embassy without permission. He claimed to be isolated and rejected the internet connection offered by the embassy, and yet he had a mobile phone with which he communicated with the outside world.
While Ecuador upheld the generous conditions of his asylum, Mr Assange legally challenged in three difference instances the legality of the protocol. In all cases, the relevant judicial authorities have validated Ecuador’s position.
In line with our strong commitment to human rights and international law, I requested Great Britain to guarantee that Mr Assange would not be extradited to a country where he could face torture or the death penalty. The British government has confirmed it in writing, in accordance with its own rules.
Finally, two days ago, WikiLeaks, Mr Assange’s allied organisation, threatened the government of Ecuador. My government has nothing to fear and does not act under threats. Ecuador is guided by the principles of law, complies with international law and protects the interests of Ecuadorians.
Scotland Yard has confirmed that Assange was arrested on behalf of the US after receiving a request for his extradition.
In a statement it said:
Julian Assange, 47, (03.07.71) has today, Thursday 11 April, been further arrested on behalf of the United States authorities, at 10:53hrs after his arrival at a central London police station. This is an extradition warrant under Section 73 of the Extradition Act. He will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court as soon as possible.
Julian P. Assange, 47, the founder of WikiLeaks, was arrested today in the United Kingdom pursuant to the U.S./UK Extradition Treaty, in connection with a federal charge of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for agreeing to break a password to a classified U.S. government computer.
If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
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