WikiLeaks founder granted Ecuador citizenship

Assange's'eviction may be a result of his disagreement with Ecuador's President

Assange's'eviction may be a result of his disagreement with Ecuador's President

In a picture posted Wednesday on his personal Twitter account, Assange appears wearing a jersey from Ecuador's national football team.

Espinosa, who had already announced that the Australian journalist is in poor health, explained that no person should live such conditions as Assange, since the founder of Wikileaks has been "in a small office" for more than five years, without being able to "access sunlight or breathe fresh air".

But insiders have said they believe the passport was issued to him last month.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange becomes a citizen of Ecuador more than five years after moving into its London embassy to escape arrest, over a rape investigation that he claims is linked to his whistle-blowing activities.

Just to be clear, Espinosa made those remarks yesterday.

The Ecuadorean foreign minister stated Assange would not leave the embassy without security guarantees.

Ecuador remains willing to shield Assange from any possible extradition for the immediate future but has no way of extracting him without London police interference, hence the impasse.

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Ecuador's left-wing president Lenin Moreno, who took office in May, has been less friendly towards Assange than his predecessor Rafael Correa.

Some of the newspaper journalists involved in working with Assange on his first leaks, including from The Guardian and the New York Times, subsequently fell out with him. Moreno issued a public demand that Assange not interfere in the politics of "nations that are our friends".

Why did he seek asylum with Ecuador? Assange's effect on foreign and diplomatic relations surely outweighs much of what Ecuador's own diplomatic corps would like to do. WikiLeaks, however, fears that the United States will seek his extradition if he leaves the embassy, believing there is a sealed U.S. indictment seeking his arrest. A spokeswoman for the registry declined to comment when asked if Assange had been granted citizenship.

A statement by Mr Assange's legal team said: 'The UN ruling, issued nearly two years ago, is crystal clear in its language.

But hold the phone - or at least the next flight to Guayaquil.

Why is Julian Assange in Ecuador's United Kingdom embassy? The current Government has been responsible for finding alternatives to resolve this inherited situation, with full respect for the national legal framework, global law and human rights. "We regret the distortion of the facts, we are working to protect the country and the interests of Ecuador", adding that action has been taken "in defence of the guarantee of human rights and in strict adherence to the law, the constitution and worldwide instruments".

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Espinosa said officials were looking for a third country or a prominent global figure to help extricate Assange from the embassy and move him somewhere else. The reaction of the MFA comes one day after Quito reportedly granted an ID card to Assange. The Ecuadorean government has since insisted that "nothing has happened".

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