Julian Assange no longer has access to the Internet

gettyimages 508571834 JULIAN ASANZ

The government of Ecuador has decided to deprive Julian Assange of any possibility of communicating via the Internet and mobile networks because the founder of the WikiLeaks website posted on social media that could damage the country's diplomatic relations, Quito said.  

Assange, 46, has been living at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since June 2012, when he took refuge in a building to avoid extradition to Sweden, where prosecutors wanted to question him over allegations of sexual assault. Assange has always denied the allegations.

Julian Assange referred in recent posts to the diplomatic crisis that has erupted between London and Moscow, as well as the crackdown on separatists in Catalonia, despite the Ecuadorian government urging the Australian to refrain from talking about politics. which could put her in a difficult position in the field of diplomacy. "The measure was implemented because Assange did not fulfill the written commitment he had made to the government at the end of 2017, according to which he was obliged not to post messages that could be considered interference in the interior of other countries," the government said in a statement. of Ecuador.

The announcement does not make clear which of Assange's channels of communication were blocked. In 2016, the Ecuadorian government decided to restrict Assange's Internet access because he was commenting on US internal affairs. A source close to WikiLeaks, however, said that embassy staff "installed interceptors inside the embassy on Tuesday to prevent Assange from posting messages on Twitter and communicating over the phone and the Internet in general."

According to the same source, the Ecuadorian government has also instructed its diplomats to refuse to allow visitors who want to see Julian Assange to enter the country's embassy. The source added that the Ecuadorian government had informed Assange's lawyer that his client should stop commenting on Catalonia and delete a specific post he had made on the subject. But Assange refused to comply, the same source added.

Ecuador President Lenin Moreno considers Assange a "pebble in our shoe", a legacy of Rafael Correa's predecessor. His government describes the situation as "unbearable". In December, Ecuador granted citizenship to Julian Assange. The Swedish investigation into him was dropped in May, but Assange, who was released on parole when he entered the Ecuadorian embassy, ​​faces the risk of being arrested immediately by British authorities for violating the terms of his release. as soon as he leaves the embassy building.

The Australian complains that the real reason for the legal problems he is facing is the fact that WikiLeaks has leaked secret US diplomatic and military documents; he fears that Britain will move forward as soon as it is given the opportunity to extradite him to the US. British Undersecretary of State Alan Duncan called Assange a "miserable worm" on Tuesday and demanded that he leave the embassy and surrender to British authorities.

Former Greek Finance Minister Giannis Varoufakis and British musician Brian Ino strongly criticized the measure taken by the government of Ecuador, which according to them contributes "to the isolation of Julian". In the event of a recurrence of the Australian, Quito may take "other measures", the statement said, without giving further details. Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa said on Wednesday that a government delegation would meet with Assange's lawyers. "Next week" to consider "alternatives" and the possibility of leaving the embassy.