Published: Fri, March 30, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Merle Christensen

Julian Assange cut off from internet at Ecuadorian embassy in UK

Julian Assange cut off from internet at Ecuadorian embassy in UK

The government of Ecuador has cut off the Internet connection for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange inside its London embassy, saying that he was jeopardizing its relationships with other countries through his posts on social media.

"This decision was taken due to Assange's failure to commit to the written agreement he agreed with the government at the end of 2017, where he was obligated not to release any messages that would interfere with other countries' matters", it continues.

"A message sent via social media urged the younger Trump to put Mr Assange's name forward for Australian ambassador, even suggesting how this could be phrased: "'That's 'a real smart tough guy and the most famous australian [sic] you have!' or something similar".

The agreement to not send messages that would damage Ecuador's foreign policy was allegedly signed by Assange past year.

The embassy chose to cut off Assange's internet connection after breaking a promise he made. The initiative is being led by Suzie Dawson, leader of the New Zealand Internet Party, and entrepreneur Kim Dotcom.

Ecuador gave Assange asylum after he sought refuge in the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden for investigation of sex-related claims. The investigation into his actions was dropped past year.

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The South American nation has repeatedly tried to find a solution that would allow Mr Assange to leave without the threat of arrest, but with no success.

Sweden dropped its investigation previous year, but British authorities say they still want to arrest him for breaching his bail conditions.

The biggest crisis came in October 2016, when the embassy cut his internet service after WikiLeaks published a trove of emails from then-U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign. But Assange is not in the clear, as NPR's Colin Dwyer reported, because there is still an outstanding arrest warrant for him in the United Kingdom for "failing to surrender in court".

Assange's Twitter account had no activity following a flurry of activity in which the controversial political figure talked about the arrest of a Catalan independentist politician and questioned Russia's involvement in the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy and his daughter in England.

A junior U.K. Foreign Office minister speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday condemned the comments by the "miserable little worm", to which Assange responded "better a "worm", a healthy creature that invigorates the soil, than a snake".

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