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Ecuador suspends Julian Assange's internet access at London embassy

Ecuador says it has again suspended Julian Assange's ability to communicate with the world outside its embassy in Lon...

Posted: Mar 29, 2018 9:01 AM
Updated: Mar 29, 2018 9:01 AM

Ecuador says it has again suspended Julian Assange's ability to communicate with the world outside its embassy in London. The South American nation accuses him of failing to commit to an agreement not to release messages interfering with other nations' affairs.

The WikiLeaks founder has normally had internet and social media access at the embassy, where Ecuador granted him asylum and allowed him to stay continuously for nearly six years to avoid an arrest warrant.

But Ecuador says it cut off his outside communications access -- for at least the second time in two years -- on Tuesday.

"The government of Ecuador has suspended all systems that allow Julian Assange to communicate outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London," Ecuador's statement, released Wednesday, reads.

"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.

"Ecuador's government warns that Assange's behavior through his social media messages puts in risk the good relationship the country has with the UK, other EU countries and other nations."

The statement did not specify which message or messages, if any, violated the agreement.

Assange's recent tweets

Assange has been holed up at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 in an effort to avoid a Swedish arrest warrant for alleged rape -- accusations he has always denied.

Sweden dropped the charges in May 2017, but Assange remains the subject of a UK arrest warrant.

Assange has recently tweeted about a wide range of subjects, including the UK's accusation that Russia was likely responsible for a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain.

"While it is reasonable for (UK Prime Minister) Theresa May to view the Russian state as the leading suspect, so far the evidence is circumstantial & the OCPW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) has not yet made any independent confirmation, permitting the Kremlin (to) push the view domestically that Russia is persecuted," Assange posted to Twitter on Monday.

His most recent Tweets, sent Tuesday, respond to an insult from Alan Duncan, a minister of state at the Foreign Office. Duncan, during a parliamentary session, called Assange a "miserable little worm" who should leave the embassy and give himself up to British justice.

"As a political prisoner detained without charge for 8 years, in violation of 2 UN rulings, I suppose I must be 'miserable'; yet nothing wrong with being a 'little' person although I'm rather tall; and better a 'worm,' a healthy creature that invigorates the soil, than a snake," Assange tweeted Tuesday.

Ecuador's relationship with Assange has been uneasy in recent years. It temporarily cut off his internet access in October 2016, citing a batch of documents that WikiLeaks released -- documents that Ecuador said targeted the 2016 US presidential election campaign.

Assange has previously expressed concern that if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy in London, he could end up being extradited to the United States, where he fears facing the death penalty over allegations of revealing government secrets through WikiLeaks.

In December, Ecaudor granted Assange citizenship, with Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa calling the measure "one more ring of protection" for Assange.

Espinosa in January said Ecuador would continue to pursue a dialogue with the UK to eventually remove Assange from the embassy.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 604608

Reported Deaths: 7642
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1249941780
Ramsey52516897
Dakota46848471
Anoka42782458
Washington27433291
Stearns22559225
St. Louis18142313
Scott17552137
Wright16382149
Olmsted13401102
Sherburne1202495
Carver1067548
Clay826492
Rice8203110
Blue Earth762644
Crow Wing681795
Kandiyohi668185
Chisago620052
Otter Tail586284
Benton582998
Goodhue483974
Douglas475681
Mower470533
Winona461351
Itasca459963
Isanti440164
McLeod430861
Morrison424862
Beltrami407862
Nobles407550
Steele397816
Polk389072
Becker386755
Lyon363853
Carlton353056
Freeborn347133
Pine334923
Nicollet331345
Mille Lacs311854
Brown307940
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Cass286232
Todd285633
Meeker263443
Waseca238023
Martin235333
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Houston174616
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Kanabec146828
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Watonwan13579
Rock128719
Jackson122812
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Murray107110
Swift106918
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Stevens92411
Clearwater89016
Marshall88817
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Wilkin83213
Lac qui Parle75622
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Grant5948
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Mahnomen5669
Norman5479
Kittson49022
Unassigned48293
Red Lake4017
Traverse3775
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Cook1720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 371146

Reported Deaths: 6053
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58273640
Linn21228339
Scott20310248
Black Hawk16167312
Woodbury15241230
Johnson1462385
Dubuque13512211
Dallas1128999
Pottawattamie11229174
Story1071648
Warren584091
Clinton561593
Cerro Gordo554095
Sioux517674
Webster516094
Muscatine4884106
Marshall486876
Des Moines467572
Wapello4338122
Buena Vista426940
Jasper421172
Plymouth403181
Lee382356
Marion366076
Jones301057
Henry294537
Bremer288661
Carroll287152
Boone268634
Crawford268140
Benton259955
Washington257351
Dickinson249344
Mahaska232751
Jackson225242
Clay216727
Kossuth216166
Tama212071
Delaware211143
Winneshiek198835
Page194522
Buchanan194133
Cedar192323
Hardin187544
Fayette186743
Wright186040
Hamilton181951
Harrison180073
Clayton171157
Butler166335
Madison164619
Mills163724
Floyd163442
Cherokee159338
Lyon158841
Poweshiek157136
Allamakee152852
Hancock150334
Iowa149824
Winnebago144531
Cass139255
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Grundy137333
Emmet135841
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Sac130920
Union130035
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Unassigned9530
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Davis85225
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Osceola78916
Greene78011
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