Ecuador Naturalizes Australian Cyber-activist Julian Assange

Ecuador Naturalizes Australian Cyber-activist Julian Assange

Ecuador Naturalizes Australian Cyber-activist Julian Assange

Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa said officials accepted Assange's request for naturalization in December, and they continue to look for a long-term resolution to a situation that has vexed officials since 2012.

In 2012 Assange requests, and is later granted political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Espinosa said Ecuador had asked the United Kingdom to grant diplomatic status to Assange in a bid to secure immunity and safe passage, but the request was rejected.

Assange had also resisted being questioned in Sweden over the rape allegation out of fear that he might be extradited to the US over Wikileaks' exposure of classified documents.

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Assange was also charged with sexual assault crimes in Sweden, but those charges were dropped in May 2017. The following year, Ecuador demands that Britain allows Assange to fly to Quito.

Ecuador's newly elected president Lenin Moreno has warned Assange that he must respect asylum conditions and refrain from getting involved in the affairs of other countries.

August 2010: An arrest warrant is issued for Julian Assange after his trip to Sweden.

The Wikileaks founder has been in the building for five and a half years, fearful that he will be arrested and extradited to the USA if he steps outside.

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"Ecuador is now exploring other forms of resolution, of course, amid a dialogue with the United Kingdom, for example through mediation", Espinosa said. Shortly before the 2016 United States election, WikiLeaks accused Ecuadorian officials in the London embassy of temporarily cutting off the former computer hacker's internet access for publishing an array of emails belonging to Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton's campaign in a bid to impact the vote.

Ecuador's Foreign Ministry in a statement said it was seeking to resolve Assange's situation, without making reference to the citizenship issue.

A United Nations panel concluded in 2016 that Assange was under arbitrary detention.

She told a press conference in Quito that Ecuador had asked London to recognize Assange as a diplomat - which would give him safe passage out of the embassy without fear of arrest - but Britain had refused.

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