UK: Police drag WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange out of the Ecuadorian Embassy after 7 years holed up
Julian Assange has been arrested by British police today following an extradition request by the US after Ecuador dramatically withdrew his political asylum seven years after he was given refuge in the country’s London embassy.
The pale and bearded WikiLeaks founder, 47, was pulled out in handcuffs – ending Assange’s 2,487 days holed up since 2012.
Stunned supporters watched on as he screamed out “The UK has no civility” and “the UK must resist”.
British authorities confirmed that the whistleblower was being held on behalf of the US authorities, as well as for breaching his bail conditions.
Assange has always feared extradition to the US, where his lawyers have claimed he could face the death penalty for the mass leaking of highly-classified documents through WikiLeaks.
Assange took refuge at the embassy in 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where authorities wanted to question him as part of a sexual assault investigation. Today one of his accusers demanded the case be reopened.
The US arrest warrant against Assange was issued in December 2017 for conspiracy in relation to whistleblower Chelsea Manning.
Ecuador’s president Lenin Moreno said the decision to withdraw Assange’s asylum status followed his ‘discourteous and aggressive behavior’ in continuing to work with WikiLeaks while housed at the embassy.
He went on to accuse Assange of violating the terms of his asylum by ‘interfering in internal affairs of other states’ as well as ‘blocking security cameras’ at the embassy and ‘confronting and mistreating guards’.