Julian Assange: Wikileaks Co-Founder Arrested in London at Ecuadorian Embassy — BBC News


Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange has been arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Julian Assange, who has been at the Ecuadorian embassy since 2012, was arrested by British police after Ecuador withdrew his asylum status.

Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy seven years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault case, that Assange denies, and that has since been dropped, but can be re-instated.

Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno said Ecuador withdrew Mr. Assange’s asylum after his repeated violations of international conventions. Wikileaks tweeted that Ecuador had acted illegally in terminating Mr Assange’s political asylum “in violation of international law”.

Assange was arrested for breaching bail — a 2012 warrant for his arrest.

Assange is also avoiding being extradited to the United States, where he is perceived as a threat to national security. Wikileaks released material made available from Chelsea Manning, which included the Collateral Murder video (April 2010) showing gunfire from a United States helicopter fatally shooting 18 people from a helicopter in Iraq, the Afghanistan war logs (July 2010), the Iraq war logs (October 2010), a quarter of a million diplomatic cables (November 2010), and the Guantánamo files (April 2011).

The United States began investigating WikiLeaks and Assange personally with a view to prosecuting them under the Espionage Act of 1917. In November 2010 US Attorney-General Eric Holder said there was “an active, ongoing criminal investigation” into WikiLeaks. Then Vice President Joe Biden referred to Assange as a terrorist. Legal documents were leaked over that Assange and others were being investigated by a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia. A sealed indictment is reported but not officially confirmed.

U.S. interest in prosecuting Assange continued recently. On April 13, 2017, CIA Director Mike Pompeo called WikiLeaks “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.” Statue of Limitations is approaching its expiration for Assange.

United States Army soldier Chelsea Manning (a trans woman born Bradley Edward Manning) was convicted by court-martial in July 2013 of violations of the Espionage Act and other offenses, accused of disclosing to WikiLeaks nearly 750,000 classified, or unclassified but sensitive, military and diplomatic documents. Manning was imprisoned between 2010 and 2017, and again in 2019 and currently for refusing to testify to a grand jury against Julian Assange

To his supporters, Assange is perceived as a champion of freedom of speech.



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