Ecuador revokes Assange asylum status; WikiLeaks founder arrested
LONDON — Ecuador’s president said his government withdrew asylum status for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange almost seven years after he sought refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London, citing “repeated violations of international conventions and daily-life protocols.”
Lenin Moreno announced the “sovereign decision” in a statement accompanied by a video on Twitter on Thursday.
Assange hasn’t left the embassy since August 2012 for fear that if he steps off Ecuador’s diplomatic soil he would be arrested and extradited to the United States for publishing thousands of classified military and diplomatic cables through WikiLeaks.
London police arrested Assange at the embassy Thursday on a court warrant issued in 2012, when he failed to surrender to the court.
Police said in a statement Assange has been taken into “custody at a central London police station where he will remain, before being presented before Westminster Magistrates’ Court as soon as is possible.”
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt thanked Moreno for breaking the impasse, saying on Twitter that Assange “is no hero and no one is above the law.” /kga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.