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Excerpt: "Ecuador has given citizenship to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up in the country's London embassy for over five years, and is seeking a 'dignified and just' solution to his situation with Britain."

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. (photo: Peter Nicholls/Reuters)
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. (photo: Peter Nicholls/Reuters)


Ecuador Grants Assange Citizenship, Seeks Solution With Britain

By Reuters

11 January 18

 

cuador has given citizenship to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up in the country’s London embassy for over five years, and is seeking a “dignified and just” solution to his situation with Britain.

The British government said earlier on Thursday it had refused a request by Ecuador for Assange to be given diplomatic status as part of the South American country’s efforts to resolve his dilemma.

Assange has been living in the building in Knightsbridge, London since he was granted asylum there in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over rape allegations.

Swedish prosecutors dropped their probe into the allegations but British police said Assange would be arrested for breaching bail conditions if he left the embassy.

Assange, who denies the allegations, feared Sweden would hand him over to the United States to face prosecution over WikiLeaks’ publication of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents in one of the largest information leaks in U.S. history.

“Ecuador is currently exploring other solutions in dialogue with the UK, like good offices of renowned authorities, other states, or international organizations that could facilitate a just, final and dignified solution for all parties,” Ecuador’s foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa told a press conference.

“There 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 did not give details on how granting Assange citizenship might help in avoiding his arrest by British police.

For some, Assange is a cyber hero for exposing government abuses of power and championing free speech but to others he is a criminal who has undermined the security of the West by exposing secrets.

“Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice,” said a British Foreign Office spokesman.

The former computer hacker enraged Washington by publishing hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables that laid bare often highly critical U.S. appraisals of world leaders from Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Saudi royal family.


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+4 # banichi 2018-01-12 01:57
I say bravo to Ecuador! Now that they have granted him citizenship, if they made him a diplomat on top of it....he would be protected from seizure by the Brits, who are being knotheads to begin with. Now that the Swedish stupidity has been voided, they have no reason to arrest him....unless there is still a desire to send him to the U.S., Ecuadorian citizenship or not.
 
 
+3 # LionMousePudding 2018-01-12 02:28
Poor guy, it's about time! He has been living a very limited life in a very small space, for 5 years.
 
 
+4 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-01-12 08:52
"The British government said earlier on Thursday it had refused a request by Ecuador for Assange to be given diplomatic status"


This is false. The British have no right to tell Ecuador who can or cannot be part of its diplomatic staff. Ecuador does not "request" diplomatic status from the British. What an insidious way to twist the story. This is faking the news.

The British do have the right to declare any member of the diplomatic staff "persona non gatia" and demand that he leave British territory. That was the original Ecuadoran plan. They'd be happy to have the British expel Assange from the UK. Assange would be protected from arrest by the British under such circumstances.

In fact, Ecuador has not offered diplomatic status to Assange. The idea has only been raised.

Articles like this one are trying to shoot down the idea before it is even tried. We only know that Ecuador wants to bring this stupid situation to an end very soon.

I'm still worried about US hired assassins taking Assange out in one way or another -- no matter where he is. In the campaign, Trump praised Assange and WikiLeaks. I wonder why he did not go for the Rohrabacher plan to talk with Assange about who gave him the DNC and Podesta emails in exchange or immunity. That would have been a great "coup" for Trump. He could have "Trumped" Mueller and the congressional committees.
 
 
+3 # Johnny 2018-01-12 11:12
Ecuador is a light that the fascist regimes of the U.S. and Britain want to extinguish, because, as Plato says, "Tyranny grows in dark places."
 
 
+2 # lfeuille 2018-01-12 19:32
So he has a place to go if he could get out of the embassy, but he still can't do that without being arrested. Maybe they should do a late night rescue operation like the Canadians pulled off getting some of the hostages out of Iran and whisk him to Ecuador before anyone notices.
 

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