April 26, 2018

Ecuador fears for Assange, adopts him

12 January 2018, 12:36 | Marta Robbins

Assange Granted Ecuador Citizenship to Secure 'Human Rights'

Julian Assange diplomatic status bid rejected by UK

Ecuador foreign minister MarĂ­a Fernanda Espinosa has said that the country is seeking a neutral third-party nation's mediation to revolve what she described as an "untenable" situation.

The government of the United Kingdom has denied a motion to grant Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 over fears he could be extradited, diplomatic protections.

"Ecuador recently requested diplomatic status for Assange here in the Britain", the FCO spokesperson said Efe news agency reported.

The reaction of the MFA comes one day after Quito reportedly granted an ID card to Assange.

Reuters has opened a Julian Paul Assange registration in Ecuador's civil registry, which includes only Ecuadorian citizens.

"What naturalisation does is provide the asylum seeker another layer of protection", Espinosa said. "Britain did not grant that request, nor are we in talks with Ecuador on this matter".

Ecuador's president at the time, Rafael Correa, was a vocal critic of the USA and an ally of another high-profile U.S. critic - Venezuela's Hugo Chavez.

The U.K. insists that Assange face justice for skipping bail following allegations of sex crimes in Sweden.

Prosecutors there dropped the allegations in May 2017.

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June 2013: After a year at the Embassy, Assange fears there are fresh moves being put in place to extradite him.

Any mediated deal between Ecuador and the United Kingdom would likely have to address Mr Assange's concerns.

She did not give details on how granting Assange citizenship might help him leave the embassy and avoid arrest.

"Safe passage [could] be granted for him to go to Ecuador where he would continue to enjoy diplomatic asylum and protection", Professor Don Rothwell said. That's not the case for Julian Assange.

The US has never laid charges or sought his arrest for the publication of classified documents relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on the WikiLeaks website.

Moreno issued a warning reminding Assange not to meddle in politics.

The newspaper said Assange may also have been given a passport.

This sparks speculation that Assange is about to end his self-imposed exile.

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