Ecuador tried to make Julian Assange a diplomat

Ecuador tried to make Julian Assange a diplomat

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been living in asylum inside Ecuador's embassy in London for five years, was granted Ecuadorian citizenship, the country's foreign minister said Thursday.

On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa said Ecuador was exploring mediation to solve the standoff. The country's Foreign Ministry said Assange was granted citizenship on December 12.

Earlier this week Britain rejected Ecuador's request to give Mr Assange diplomatic status, which would have given him extra protections including special legal immunity and safe passage.

" 'There are well-founded fears we have about possible risks to his life and integrity, not necessarily by the United Kingdom but by third party states, ' Espinosa said".

Julian Assange is in breach of bail conditions set in 2012 and chose to enter the Ecuadorean Embassy of his own volition.

Ecuadorian officials made the announcement that they would be granting him citizenship in a press conference just a short while ago, but Assange appeared to allude to his new status yesterday, tweeting a photo of himself wearing the jersey of Ecuador's national soccer team.

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Assange, who had been wanted to Sweden in sex-related case, has been given asylum in 2012 after he sought refuge in the Ecuador embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden.

A 2016 United Nations report concluded that the WikiLeaks founder had been arbitrarily detained by Sweden and the United Kingdom. She mentioned "dialogue with the United Kingdom" and mediation by other states or worldwide organizations that could "facilitate a just, lasting, and dignified resolution for all the involved parties".

'The UK should not permit itself to be intimidated by the Trump administration's public threats to "take down" Mr Assange'.

The charges against Assange have been dropped by Swedish prosecutors due to the impossibility of serving him notice, but the Metropolitan Police, which spent millions of pounds maintaining watch over the embassy, said he still faced a charge of failing to surrender to a court.

More recently, Assange's vocal support for Catalan's independence push drew the ire of Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno, who was forced to respond to complaints from the Madrid government.

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