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Posted: Jan 12 2018, 09:08 AM
Group: Featured Blogers
Member No.: 17
Joined: 17-January 12
Rep: 142 pts
Julian Assange granted Ecuadorian citizenship to provide 'another layer of protection'
Ecuador has granted citizenship to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after more than five years of living in asylum at the nation's embassy in London, officials have announced.
Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa said officials accepted Mr Assange's request for naturalisation in December, and they continue to look for a long-term resolution to a situation that has vexed officials since 2012.
"What naturalisation does is provide the asylum seeker another layer of protection," Ms Espinosa said.
Ecuador gave Mr Assange asylum after he sought refuge in the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden for investigation of sex-related claims.
Sweden dropped the case, but Mr Assange has remained in the embassy because he is still subject to arrest in Britain for jumping bail.
He also fears a possible US extradition request based on his leaking of classified State Department documents.
The Australian-born Mr Assange posted a photograph of himself wearing a yellow Ecuadorean national soccer team jersey on Instagram on Wednesday and his name now appears in the Andean country's national registry.
Britain rejects diplomatic status request
The new citizenship status, however, appears to change little for Mr Assange in the immediate future. He would still need to alert British authorities of any movement outside the embassy.
Ms Espinosa said Ecuador was trying to make Mr Assange a member of its diplomatic team, which would grant him additional rights under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, including special legal immunity and safe passage.
Britain's Foreign Office said earlier on Thursday it had rejected Ecuador's request to grant Mr Assange diplomatic status in the UK.
"Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice," the office said.
Though protected by Ecuador, the relationship between Mr Assange and the nation's leaders has at times been dicey.
Ecuador has repeatedly urged Mr Assange not to interfere in the affairs of other countries following his frequent online comments on international issues.
The biggest crisis came in October 2016, when the embassy cut his internet service after WikiLeaks published a trove of emails from then-US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign.
He was also a point of contention in Ecuador's 2017 presidential election. Conservative candidate Guillermo Lasso pledged to evict the Australian within 30 days of taking office, while current President Lenin Moreno said he would allow him to stay.
Mr Assange later taunted after Mr Lasso's loss that he would "cordially invite Lasso to leave Ecuador within 30 days".
Mr Moreno issued a warning reminding Mr Assange not to meddle in politics. He has also called Mr Assange a hacker.
This whole saga has dragged on for far too long. Britain wanted Assange to face charges in Sweden but when Sweden dropped their case against him that should have been the end of it.
"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." - Winston Churchill
Posted: Jan 12 2018, 03:26 PM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 20-July 11
Rep: 47 pts
If he committed a criminal offence then he should be charged. Not all this nonsense of maybe he will or won't be charged.
The whole sage is beyond interest of any sane person.
Living In An Elected Dictatorship
Flin's opinions and comments reflect his perception of the facts and not necessarily reality