Julian Assange, Co-Founder of Wikileaks, Arrested

Mike Ottavio | @MadMikePolitics

Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange was arrested this morning after spending 7 years in an Ecuadorian embassy, BBC reports.

Assange initially took refuge in an Ecuadorian embassy seven years ago to avoid being extradited to Sweden over a sexual assault case that has since been dropped.

The Metropolitan police moved to arrest Assange after Ecuador’s president Lenin Moreno revoked his asylum. Ecuador cited Assange’s bad behavior and multiple violations of international conventions as the reason.

In a tweet this morning Wikileaks responded by claiming Assange’s asylum was illegally terminated “in violation of international law.”

Assange was arrested for “failing to surrender to the court” over a warrant issued in 2012 and was in custody at a central London police station, Metropolitan police said.

Assange has been held up in an Ecuadorian embassy in the UK since 2012. The sexual assault case he originally sought asylum for was dropped, yet he remained in fear that the United States would still go after him because of his work with Wikileaks.

Ecuadorean president Lenin Moreno said the country had “reached its limit on the behavior of Mr. Assange” after he intervened in the internal affairs of other countries.

President Moreno said: “The most recent incident occurred in January 2019, when WikiLeaks leaked Vatican documents.”

This and other publications have confirmed the world’s suspicion that Mr Assange is still linked to WikiLeaks and therefore involved in interfering in internal affairs of other states.

In July of 2016, Assange and Wikileaks published over 20,000 emails that were hacked from DNC staffers. These emails showed a strong bid among high ranking Democrats against Bernie Sanders campaign.

Many consider the 2016 email leak as a major factor in Hilary Clinton losing the presidential race.

Following Wikileaks involvement in the presidential election, a 2018 court filing showed the United States governments effort to criminally charge Assange.

As reported by CNN, Assange’s own legal team released a statement on Friday stating that expelling him from the embassy would “violate international refugee law.”

“It will be a sad day for democracy if the UK and Ecuadorean governments are willing to act as accomplices to the Trump administration’s determination to prosecute a publisher for publishing truthful information,” the statement read.

Since the arrest the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry denied the rumors in a statement, calling them “fake news” and adding that the idea of a deal with the UK “misrepresents reality.”

Assange is also being arrested by the United States:

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