Ecuador suspends Julian Assange's internet access at London embassy

Ecuador says it has again suspended Julian Assange's ability to communicate with the world outside its embassy in Lon...

Posted: Mar 29, 2018 10:01 AM
Updated: Mar 29, 2018 10:01 AM

Ecuador says it has again suspended Julian Assange's ability to communicate with the world outside its embassy in London. The South American nation accuses him of failing to commit to an agreement not to release messages interfering with other nations' affairs.

The WikiLeaks founder has normally had internet and social media access at the embassy, where Ecuador granted him asylum and allowed him to stay continuously for nearly six years to avoid an arrest warrant.

But Ecuador says it cut off his outside communications access -- for at least the second time in two years -- on Tuesday.

"The government of Ecuador has suspended all systems that allow Julian Assange to communicate outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London," Ecuador's statement, released Wednesday, reads.

"This decision was taken due to Assange's failure to commit to the written agreement he agreed with the government at the end of 2017, where he was obligated not to release any messages that would interfere with other countries' matters.

"Ecuador's government warns that Assange's behavior through his social media messages puts in risk the good relationship the country has with the UK, other EU countries and other nations."

The statement did not specify which message or messages, if any, violated the agreement.

Assange's recent tweets

Assange has been holed up at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 in an effort to avoid a Swedish arrest warrant for alleged rape -- accusations he has always denied.

Sweden dropped the charges in May 2017, but Assange remains the subject of a UK arrest warrant.

Assange has recently tweeted about a wide range of subjects, including the UK's accusation that Russia was likely responsible for a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain.

"While it is reasonable for (UK Prime Minister) Theresa May to view the Russian state as the leading suspect, so far the evidence is circumstantial & the OCPW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) has not yet made any independent confirmation, permitting the Kremlin (to) push the view domestically that Russia is persecuted," Assange posted to Twitter on Monday.

His most recent Tweets, sent Tuesday, respond to an insult from Alan Duncan, a minister of state at the Foreign Office. Duncan, during a parliamentary session, called Assange a "miserable little worm" who should leave the embassy and give himself up to British justice.

"As a political prisoner detained without charge for 8 years, in violation of 2 UN rulings, I suppose I must be 'miserable'; yet nothing wrong with being a 'little' person although I'm rather tall; and better a 'worm,' a healthy creature that invigorates the soil, than a snake," Assange tweeted Tuesday.

Ecuador's relationship with Assange has been uneasy in recent years. It temporarily cut off his internet access in October 2016, citing a batch of documents that WikiLeaks released -- documents that Ecuador said targeted the 2016 US presidential election campaign.

Assange has previously expressed concern that if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy in London, he could end up being extradited to the United States, where he fears facing the death penalty over allegations of revealing government secrets through WikiLeaks.

In December, Ecaudor granted Assange citizenship, with Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa calling the measure "one more ring of protection" for Assange.

Espinosa in January said Ecuador would continue to pursue a dialogue with the UK to eventually remove Assange from the embassy.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 48524

Reported Deaths: 2698
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11682684
Lake5180242
Elkhart330146
Allen2798132
St. Joseph196466
Cass16389
Hamilton1563101
Hendricks1410100
Johnson1288118
Porter73237
Tippecanoe7268
Madison65964
Clark65544
Bartholomew58644
LaPorte58026
Howard57757
Kosciusko5494
Vanderburgh5486
Marshall4904
Noble48228
Jackson4723
LaGrange4709
Hancock45035
Boone44543
Delaware44550
Shelby42625
Floyd38144
Morgan32931
Monroe30028
Grant29526
Montgomery29420
Clinton2892
Henry27415
Dubois2736
White26510
Decatur25032
Lawrence24625
Dearborn23823
Vigo2358
Harrison21822
Warrick21829
Unassigned193193
Greene18932
Miami1832
Jennings17611
Putnam1698
DeKalb1624
Scott1627
Daviess14317
Wayne1406
Orange13623
Perry1299
Steuben1292
Franklin1248
Jasper1212
Ripley1177
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette997
Newton9810
Starke933
Whitley925
Gibson812
Huntington812
Randolph794
Wells731
Fulton721
Jefferson722
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox640
Clay604
Rush583
Adams501
Owen491
Benton480
Sullivan451
Posey420
Brown391
Spencer381
Blackford372
Crawford320
Fountain322
Tipton321
Switzerland270
Parke230
Martin220
Ohio170
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 57956

Reported Deaths: 2927
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin10410429
Cuyahoga7883373
Hamilton6019198
Lucas2752302
Marion273438
Pickaway219741
Summit2143206
Montgomery203427
Mahoning1832232
Butler159944
Columbiana130760
Stark1123112
Lorain103567
Trumbull96770
Warren86021
Clark7669
Delaware58215
Fairfield57216
Tuscarawas56710
Belmont54922
Medina52332
Lake50018
Licking49312
Miami46631
Portage44258
Ashtabula43544
Wood42851
Clermont4146
Geauga40742
Wayne36351
Richland3455
Allen32141
Mercer2829
Greene2589
Darke25125
Erie24422
Holmes2363
Huron2202
Madison1978
Ottawa14923
Sandusky13614
Crawford1355
Washington13520
Putnam12815
Ross1273
Hardin12312
Morrow1161
Coshocton1112
Auglaize1074
Monroe8917
Jefferson882
Union861
Muskingum831
Hancock791
Hocking788
Guernsey743
Preble731
Lawrence710
Williams712
Clinton680
Shelby684
Logan621
Fulton610
Ashland591
Athens591
Carroll593
Wyandot596
Brown571
Defiance513
Knox511
Fayette460
Highland451
Scioto410
Champaign401
Perry351
Van Wert350
Seneca342
Henry300
Paulding250
Adams241
Jackson230
Pike230
Vinton222
Gallia181
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Scattered Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 91°
Angola
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 91°
Huntington
Scattered Clouds
89° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 93°
Decatur
Overcast
88° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 89°
Van Wert
Overcast
88° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 89°
Few Storms Tuesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events