Assange, now Ecuadoran citizen, still can't leave embassy


Britain's Foreign Office said Thursday it had rejected Ecuador's request to grant diplomatic status to Assange, who was born in Australia. A spokesperson for the Foreign Office denied that the government was in talks with Ecuador over Assange receiving diplomatic status, emphasisng that the government wants him to face justice - even if the crime in question is far less severe than it was 12 months ago. And Ecuador's considering outside help to resolve the case of Julian Assange.

Assange's legal team have maintained his confinement to the embassy amounts to illegal detention. The investigation into the WikiLeaks founder was dropped past year.

Ecuador granted Assange asylum in 2012 after he took refuge in the country's embassy in London to avoid being extradited to Sweden over allegations of sexual assault.

"A person can not live in those conditions forever", she added, reiterating that Ecuador will continue to provide the whistleblower with all necessary assistance.

However, he continues to fear extradition to the USA and he faces arrest for breaching bail conditions if he steps outside onto British soil.

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More recently, Assange's vocal support for Catalan's independence push drew the ire of Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno, who was forced to respond to complaints from the Madrid government. In 2010, Wikileaks leaked USA military helicopter footage showing the killing of Iraqi civilians. Moreno said of Assange, "I respect the situation he is in, which calls for respect of his human rights, but we also ask that he respects the situation he is in".

In 2016, the website also released thousands of emails from the Democratic National Committee, which critics used as evidence of bias against Bernie Sanders and in favor of Hillary Clinton.

He was publicly reprimanded for interfering in the 2016 United States election after publishing hacked emails from the campaign team of Democrat Hillary Clinton. In October 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump reacted to the email dump by saying, "I love WikiLeaks!"

April 21, 2017: US Attorney General states that Assange's arrest is now a US "priority".

In the meantime, speculations were rife that Assange might have procured Ecuador citizenship.