UK Refuses to Grant Assange Diplomatic Status – Foreign Office
09:48 11.01.2018(updated 09:54 11.01.2018)Get short URL
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The United Kingdom has dismissed a request from the Ecuadorian government to grant Julian Assange diplomatic status, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson said amid reports that the founder of the WikiLeaks website may have received Ecuadorian citizenship.
“The government of Ecuador recently requested diplomatic status for Mr. Assange here in the UK. The UK did not grant that request, nor are we in talks with Ecuador on this matter. Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying by The Guardian newspaper.
The news comes in wake of the El Comercio news outlet’s report published on January 10, regarding the number of an identity document, registered in the Ecuadorian Civil Registration System under Assange’s name.
However, the reports circulating in media have been insisting that the whistleblower could be expelled from the embassy because he drove President Lenin Moreno “over the edge.”
The South American country has been seeking a third party to resolve the situation around Assange, this position was voiced by Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa on January 9, who stressed that Ecuador would continue providing support to the whistleblower.
Assange has been living in Ecuador’s London since being given political asylum in 2012. In 2010, Swedish authorities began an investigation into rape allegedly committed by the whistleblower, who resisted being questioned in Sweden for fear that he might be extradited to the United States over his whistleblowing organization’s exposure of classified documents.