Ecuador Orders Extra Security for Julian Assange to be Removed from Embassy in London

FILE PHOTO: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaks on the balcony of the Embassy of Ecuador in London, Britain, May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange speaks on the balcony of the Embassy of Ecuador in London, Britain, May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo

The president of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, ordered the withdrawal on Thursday of additional security assigned to the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has remained for almost six years.

The Australian took refuge in the small diplomatic headquarters in 2012 to avoid sexual abuse charges in Sweden. He rejects the charges and prosecutors have abandoned their investigation.

However, British authorities are still seeking his arrest.

“The President of the Republic, Lenin Moreno, has ordered that any additional security at the Ecuadorian embassy in London be withdrawn immediately,” the government said in a statement. “

From now on, it will maintain normal security similar to that of other Ecuadorian embassies,” the statement said.

Ecuador suspended Assange’s communication systems in March after his pointed political comments on Twitter.

Moreno has described Assange’s situation as “a stone in his shoe.”

SOURCE: Alexandra Valencia, Girish Gupta
Reuters