Ecuador Grants Citizenship To Julian Assange, Who Lives In London Embassy

Julian Assange granted Ecuadorian citizenship after 5 years in embassy

Julian Assange granted citizenship by Ecuador

Ecuador has granted citizenship to Julian Assange, who has been holed up inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London for over five years.

Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa said officials accepted Assange's request for naturalization in December, and they continue to look for a long-term resolution to a situation that has vexed officials since 2012. She explained, "What naturalisation does is provide the asylum seeker another layer of protection".

Mr Assange has been living in asylum inside the embassy since 2012, due to fears he would be extradited to Sweden over rape-related charges.

Assange, who denies the allegations, believes Sweden will hand him over to the United States to face prosecution over WikiLeaks' publication of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents in one of the largest information leaks in United States history. Though the original case that prompted his stay has since been dropped, Assange remains holed up in the embassy as he still faces arrest in Britain over skipping bail, according to the AP, though fears of a U.S. extradition are no doubt a big contributing factor.

"The government of Ecuador recently requested diplomatic status for Mr Assange here in the United Kingdom", a Foreign & Commonwealth Office spokesperson said in a recent statement.

"The government of Ecuador recently requested diplomatic status for Assange here in the UK".

Sarah Sanders insults journalists who dare ask about Trump's irrational tweets
The president appeared to both criticize and back the legislation, which the House reauthorized by a vote of 256-164 Thursday.

"We will continue to protect Julian Assange while his physical and psychological integrity are at risk", Espinosa said.

It is also alleged that Ecuador is trying to make Assange a member of its diplomatic team which would allow him legal immunity and safe passage through the UK. That was a temporary restriction, but it boiled over into conspiracy theories about a raid against the embassy and Assange's potential demise.

Earlier in the week Mr Assange posted a picture of himself in an Ecuadorean football shirt, fuelling rumours that he had been issued an Ecuadorean passport.

Ecuador's announcement came after several days of speculation that the Ecuadorean government was ramping up efforts to find a solution for Assange.

In response Espinosa said: "No solution will be achieved without worldwide co-operation and the co-operation of the United Kingdom, which has also shown interest in seeking a way out".

Latest News