The Ecuadorian embassy in London, England, which has been the home of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange for the last several years, has issued the following statement in light of Assange’s internet connection going dark:
Ecuador granted political asylum to Julian Assange in 2012 based on his legitimate fears of political persecution because of his journalistic activities as the editor of WikiLeaks.
In recent weeks, WikiLeaks has published a wealth of documents, impacting on the U.S. election campaign. This decision was taken exclusively by that organization.
The Government of Ecuador respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states. It does not interfere in external electoral processes, nor does it favor any particular candidate.
Accordingly, Ecuador has exercised its sovereign right to temporarily restrict access to some of its private communications network within its Embassy in the United Kingdom. This temporary restriction does not prevent the WikiLeaks organization from carrying out its journalistic activities.
Ecuador, in accordance with its tradition of defending human rights and protecting the victims of political persecution, reaffirms the asylum granted to Julian Assange and reiterates its intention to safeguard his life and physical integrity until he reaches a safe place.
Ecuador’s foreign policy responds to sovereign decisions alone and does not yield to pressure from other states.
Assange has been living in a small room in the embassy for over four years to avoid extradition to Sweden for sexual assault charges. In the last couple weeks, Wikileaks has been releasing stolen emails from the account of John Podesta, the campaign chairman for Hillary Clinton.
[Photo: Wikimedia Commons]