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Julian Assange granted Ecuadorian citizenship

Julian Assange granted Ecuadorian citizenship

Ecuador's foreign minister, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, told reporters in Quito that Assange's "physical and psychological integrity are at risk".

She added she feared for threats to Assange's life from third-party states. According to El Universo, Assange was granted a certificate of Ecuadorian citizenship with a code corresponding to the province of Pichincha. "What naturalization does is provide the asylum-seeker another layer of protection", she said.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for more than five years, has been given an identity number in the South American country, its civil register showed Wednesday.

Mr Assange, 46, breached bail conditions when he sought political refuge at the Ecuadorean embassy, while facing sexual assault allegations in Sweden.

Assange has been living in the Ecuador embassy since 2012, after he was accused of many charges during his stint at WikiLeaks, which include purportedly leaking several classified documents.

A spokeswoman for the British Foreign Office said that from its perspective: "He is free to leave the Ecuadorean embassy whenever he wants". Although Swedish prosecutors have since dropped the charges, British police remain outside the embassy ready to arrest the WikiLeaks co-founder for breaking his 2012 bail conditions. But the British government has consistently emphasised that he must face justice in United Kingdom courts over his breach of bail conditions.




The UK's rejection of a diplomatic pass comes after Assange tweeted a cryptic picture of him dressed in the colours of Ecuador.

Yesterday, all the talk was that he may be expelled from the Ecuadorian embassy where he has spent the past five years avoiding arrest.

A statement by Mr Assange's legal team said: 'The UN ruling, issued nearly two years ago, is crystal clear in its language.

However, he continues to fear extradition to the US and he faces arrest for breaching bail conditions if he steps outside onto British soil. Assange could travel on his own existing passport to a country without any extradition agreement with the U.S. if he left the embassy in London, or at least it looks that way at the moment. Until the Foreign Office grants him the said immunity, it seems he would be holed up in the embassy for a long time.

Assange's relationship with Ecuador has strained in recent years, most notably since the appointment of president Lenin Moreno in 2017 who warned him he "cannot meddle in national and worldwide politics", especially in regards to "politics of countries that are our friends".


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