Why did Ecuador give up Assange after seven years?

Why did Ecuador give up Assange after seven years?

Troy Powers
April 13, 2019

The arrest of Assange reignites a debate with no easy answer: Is the former computer hacker and founder of WikiLeaks a journalist or not?

On Friday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said Assange's arrest was evidently carried out on US orders, state news agency Tass reported.

Glenn Greenwald is among those arguing that the indictment "poses grave threats to press freedom".

"It charges that Assange and Manning conspired to access government computers (to hack, in the vernacular)". But Judge Napolitano said that the extradition process to the USA may take years, as the United Kingdom faces legal issues of its own.

"The greatest traitor in Ecuadorian and Latin American history, Lenin Moreno, allowed the British police to enter our embassy in London to arrest Assange", Correa tweeted.

Over the weekend, the Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Relations ramped up the rhetoric against Assange when it put out a fiery statement rejecting "the fake news that has circulated in the last few days on social media, many of them spread by an organization linked to Mr".

While the "feces" allegation was not the only strike against Assange - he was also accused of meddling in Ecuador's political affairs to influence the country's government - but his conduct as a guest at the embassy certainly did not help.

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Edward Snowden, the former CIA employee whistleblower who stole and later released highly classified material concerning the National Security Agency in 2013, and is now living in exile in Russian Federation to escape USA authorities, released a series of Tweets sympathetic to Assange.

Assange, who returned to Britain after the alleged incidents, was soon sought by Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny for questioning in Sweden on allegations of sexual molestation, unlawful coercion and rape.

"I may be a chauvinist pig of some sort but I am no rapist", Assange wrote in an unofficial autobiography released in 2011. "The bottom line is that he has to answer for what he has done, at least as it has been charged", she said.

In June 2012, with his legal avenues exhausted, Assange finally faced extradition to Sweden. Assange would not leave the embassy until this week. After Assange's arrest on Thursday, the prosecution's deputy director, Eva-Marie Persson, was tapped to look into a request from a lawyer for one of the accusers to find out whether the case can be reopened.

The details were revealed during remarks by Valencia to the press on Thursday.

Linking to a Guardian column by Owen Jones, Greenwald pointed out on Twitter Friday that people on "the actual left" in the United Kingdom, the United States, Latin America, and Europe have denounced the extradition effort while "U.S. establishment liberals have largely cheered it".