Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been staying at the Ecuadorian Embassy (a small apartment) in London for nearly since 2012. He has not left the premises due to outstanding warrants for his arrest.
He tweeted this last year, criticizing president Lenín Moreno,
If President Moreno wants to gag my reporting of human rights abuses in Spain he should say so explicitly–together with the legal basis.
— Julian Assange ⌛ (@JulianAssange) September 28, 2017
Moreno did not like it and wants him out, but does not want the visuals of Assange being dragged away by police. Ecuador requested that the UK grant Assange diplomatic status, to which the UK said “no” (link in Spanish). Here’s a screenshot of the letter,
James Ball of The Guardian summarizes Assange’s situation,
The only barrier to Julian Assange leaving Ecuador’s embassy is pride
The WikiLeaks founder is unlikely to face prosecution in the US, charges in Sweden have been dropped – and for the embassy, he’s lost his value as an icon
Ball, by the way, worked with WikiLeaks for a few months in 2010 and 2011.
Ecuador is hoping it can break a long impasse that has seen WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange holed up in its London embassy for five years.
It is seeking a third-party mediator to broker a deal with the United Kingdom in an effort to find a way for Mr Assange, who is an Australian citizen, to leave their building.
Ecuador has been “considering and exploring the possibility of a mediation” to resolve the issue.
Why is Julian Assange in Ecuador’s UK embassy?
Mr Assange was accused of raping two women in Sweden in 2010 and was subsequently arrested in London.
He was released on bail whilst fighting extradition to Sweden, but after losing his appeal in 2012 he sought asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Mr Assange has been in the small embassy in Knightsbridge ever since.
Sweden has subsequently dropped all charges against Mr Assange, but he continues to fear extradition to the United States.
Ecuador’s newly elected president Lenin Moreno issued several warnings to the Australian asking him to refrain from commenting on politics relating to Ecuador’s allies.
UK police say he will be arrested if he leaves the embassy in Knightsbridge for failing to surrender to the court in 2012.
An FCO spokesman said: “The government of Ecuador recently requested diplomatic status for Mr Assange here in the UK. The UK did not grant that request, nor are we in talks with Ecuador on this matter.
“Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice.”
Cross-posted at WoW! Magazine.