Julian Assange’s refuge in London’s Ecuadorian embassy ‘in jeopardy’

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London | Published: May 25, 2018 10:31:32 AM

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's nearly six-year refuge inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London is "in jeopardy" as he faces possible arrest by British authorities and subsequent extradition to the US, a media report said.

julian assange, wikileaks, Ecuadorian embassy, london, jeopardy, Assange refuge, Julian Assange refuge, refugeEarlier this year, the Ecuadorian government cut off Assange’s access to the internet, making it virtually impossible for him to manage WikiLeaks. (Reuters)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s nearly six-year refuge inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London is “in jeopardy” as he faces possible arrest by British authorities and subsequent extradition to the US, a media report said. Assange has in the past claimed his position in the embassy was under threat but his current situation is “unusually bad” and he could leave the embassy “any day now”, informed sources told CNN on Thursday. “He will be forced out or made to feel so restricted that he might choose to leave on his own,” the sources said.

Earlier this year, the Ecuadorian government cut off Assange’s access to the internet, making it virtually impossible for him to manage WikiLeaks. He has also had his access to visitors severely restricted. Assange is now only allowed to see his lawyers, who said their phones are jammed while they are inside the embassy. British authorities have said that they would issue a warrant for Assange’s arrest if he were to leave the embassy, CNN reported.

He faces charges in the UK for breach of bail for failing to surrender for extradition to Sweden, despite the fact that Sweden stopped investigating an allegation of rape against Assange in 2017. Swedish prosecutors, however, maintain the right to resume the investigation if Assange leaves the embassy.

The US has prepared charges to seek the arrest of Assange, who US intelligence agencies believe Russia used as an intermediary to distribute hacked emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the 2016 presidential election. Ecuador’s President, Lenin Moreno, is under increasing pressure from the US to expel Assange.

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