Ecuador gives Assange citizenship

12 January, 2018, 06:17 | Author: Jason Torres
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Ecuador's foreign minister has said Julian Assange's five-and-a-half-year stay in her country's London embassy is "untenable" and should be ended through worldwide mediation.

Ecuador's foreign minister, MarĂ­a Fernanda Espinosa, said her country was now seeking a "third country or a personality" to mediate a settlement with the United Kingdom to resolve the impasse and said it was "considering and exploring the possibility of mediation".

The Government of Ecuador recently requested diplomatic status for Mr Assange here in the UK.

The 46-year-old and his supporters believe the Swedish case was a trick to have him extradited to the United States and tried for publishing government secrets.

He was wanted in Sweden for questioning over rape accusations.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Espinosa said officials were looking for a third country or a prominent worldwide figure to help extricate Assange from the embassy and move him somewhere else.

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Ecuador's decision to grant citizenship to Julian Assange and subsequent attempt to register him as a diplomat has failed to solve a five-year stand off with British authorities over the founder of WikiLeaks. The country said Tuesday that it was looking for a third-party mediator who could broker a deal to allow Assange to leave the embassy.

August 2010: An arrest warrant is issued for Julian Assange after his trip to Sweden. The US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, said last May that Assange's arrest was now a "priority".

May 19, 2017: Swedish prosecutors announce the investigations have been discontinued. The Australian became an Ecuadorian citizen on December 12. He sought asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and today police have said he will still face arrest if he leaves.

In February 2016, the United Nations panel confirms its view that Assange has been "arbitrarily detained", saying he should be able to claim compensation from Britain and Sweden.

She told a press conference in Quito that Ecuador had asked London to recognize Assange as a diplomat - which would give him safe passage out of the embassy without fear of arrest - but Britain had refused.

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