LONDON - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by British police and carried out of the Ecuadorean embassy on Thursday after his South American hosts abruptly revoked his seven-year asylum in a move his supporters said was illegal.
British officials say the United States submited a formal extradition request for Julian Assange, who was arrested in London by British police after officers were invited into the embassy of Ecuador to detain the WikiLeaks founder. Assange has been arrested in relation to a US extradition request for "conspiracy with Chelsea Manning" for publishing Iraq War Logs, Cablegate, Afghan War Logs, precisely the persecution for which he was granted asylum under the 1951 Refugee Convention in 2012.
British officials say the United States submited a formal extradition request for Julian Assange, who was arrested in London by British police after officers were invited into the embassy of Ecuador to detain the WikiLeaks founder.
Assange has been arrested in relation to a US extradition request for "conspiracy with Chelsea Manning" for publishing Iraq War Logs, Cablegate, Afghan War Logs, precisely the persecution for which he was granted asylum under the 1951 Refugee Convention in 2012.
Following are comments and reactions to the news:
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt
“Julian Assange is no hero, he has hidden from the truth for years and years.
“It’s not so much Julian Assange being held hostage in the Ecuadorean embassy, it’s actually Julian Assange holding the Ecuadorean embassy hostage in a situation that was absolutely intolerable for them.”
British Junior Foreign Minister Alan Duncan
“It is our broad policy in all circumstances, so it equally applies to Julian Assange, that he will not be extradited if he is going to face the death penalty. So that will apply to him.”
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne
“Mr Assange will continue to receive the usual consular support from the Australian Government. Consular officers will seek to visit Mr Assange at his place of detention.
“I am confident, as the United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt publicly confirmed in July 2018, that Mr Assange will receive due process in the legal proceedings he faces in the United Kingdom.”
The U.S. on Thursday unsealed charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a computer hacking conspiracy linked to the release of hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. documents, just hours after British police dramatically arrested him at the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he had been holed up for nearly seven years.
The indictment of Assange stems from one of the largest breaches of classified information in U.S. history, the 2010 WikiLeaks release of a vast cache of U.S. military records from its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, assessments of suspected terrorists held by the U.S.
Former Us Spy Agency Contractor Edward Snowden
“Assange’s critics may cheer, but this is a dark moment for press freedom.”
“The United Nations formally ruled his detention to be arbitrary, a violation of human rights. They have repeatedly issued statements calling for him to walk free—including very recently.”
“This man is a son, a father, a brother. He has won dozens of journalism awards. He’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize every year since 2010. Powerful actors, including CIA, are engaged in a sophisticated effort to dehumanize, delegitimize and imprison him.”
WikiLeaks has accused the Ecuadorian government of spying on founder Julian Assange.
The group's editor-in-chief, Kristinn Hrafnsson, told a news conference Wednesday that Assange's meetings with lawyers and a doctor had been secretly filmed by Ecuadorian authorities.
Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2012 and has been living there ever since.
Rafael Correa, Former Ecuadorian President
“The greatest traitor in Ecuadorian and Latin American history, Lenin Moreno, allowed the British police to enter our embassy in London to arrest Assange.
“Moreno is a corrupt man, but what he has done is a crime that humanity will never forget.”
Sven-Erik Alhem, Retired Prosecutor, Chairman Of Ngo Victim Support Sweden
“I’d think it would be fairly uphill to reopen the investigation (in Sweden), mainly because testimonies usually weaken with time and it’s now been 10 years. On top of that, the statute of limitation is drawing near, and Assange would need to come here.”
Ecuador reserves the right to conduct an investigation of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange for allegedly leaking information about President Lenin Moreno's personal life, the foreign minister said on Monday.
Assange, an Ecuadorian citizen, has lived in the country's London embassy for nearly seven years.
Assange Friend Vaughan Smith
“It was a miserable existence and I could see it was a strain on him, but a strain he managed rather well.”
“The thing that was most difficult for Julian was the solitude.”
“He was very tough, but the last year in particular was very difficult. He was constantly being surveilled and spied upon. There was no privacy for him.”