Britain refuses Ecuador's request to grant diplomatic status to Assange

Ecuador seeks mediator to resolve ‘unsustainable’ Assange ordeal

The Ecuador government on Thursday granted its citizenship to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. The UK did not grant that request, nor are we in talks with Ecuador on this matter.

The foreign ministers said that her government tried to obtain diplomatic status for the Wikileaks founder within the United Kingdom on December 20, but that the British government immediately denied the asylum seeker such status.

Ecuador gave Assange asylum after he sought refuge in the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden for investigation of sex-related claims. He fears that if arrested by UK authorities they he will be extradited to the United States whose government is looking to prosecute Assange for publishing thousands of USA classified military and diplomatic documents via his Wikileaks page.

This follows recent reports that suggested Assange was going to be evicted from the Ecuadorian embassy in London after pushing President Lenin Moreno "over the edge".

Ecuador said they feared threats to Assange's life coming from third party states.

The new move will also help Assange immunity from the arrest in London.

For some, Assange is a cyber hero for exposing government abuses of power and championing free speech but to others he is a criminal who has undermined the security of the West by exposing secrets.

Despite the confirmed citizenship status, Espinosa said that the government continues to work with the U.K.to "explore alternatives and options to resolve the case".

The former computer hacker enraged Washington by publishing hundreds of thousands of secret USA diplomatic cables that laid bare often highly critical US appraisals of world leaders from Russian President Vladimir Putin to the Saudi royal family.

A proposed diplomatic status - if it had been granted - would give the WikiLeaks' founder diplomatic immunity, which would make it possible for him to leave the embassy and the United Kingdom without fear of arrest.

A United Nations panel had observed in 2016 that Assange was under arbitrary detention.

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