Ecuador Grants WikiLeaks'
January 11, 2018
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been living in asylum
inside Ecuador's embassy in London for five years, was granted
Ecuadorian citizenship, the country's foreign minister said
The move was seen as an unsuccessful attempt to allow Assange to
leave the embassy without facing arrest by British police.
London denied Ecuador's request to grant Assange diplomatic
status, which would give him safe passage out of the embassy.
"Ecuador is currently exploring other solutions in dialogue with
the UK," Ecuador's foreign minister, Maria Fernanda Espinosa,
told reporters Thursday.
are well-founded fears we have about possible risks to his life
and integrity, not necessarily by the UK but by third party
states," she added.
Assange has been
living at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012 under
virtual house arrest to avoid being detained in connection with
a Swedish rape investigation, which began seven years ago.
Though Sweden dropped the case against him, the Australian-born
former journalist and computer programmer remained at the
Ecuadorean embassy. British police have said they will arrest
him on a charge of jumping bail if he tries to leave.
Assange also faces a possible sealed U.S. indictment against
him. The U.S. Justice Department has been investigating Assange
since at least 2010, when WikiLeaks published thousands of
stolen U.S. security files.