Ecuador in talks to remove Julian Assange from London embassy

Under conditions of a growing international campaign to demand freedom for Julian Assange, Ecuador’s foreign minister has indicated moves are underway to force the WikiLeaks editor out of Ecuador’s London embassy, where he was granted political asylum six years ago.

Ecuador is negotiating an “exit” plan with authorities in Britain, Foreign Minister Jose Valencia said on Wednesday. Valencia told the Associated Press the plan would be “one that encourages an exit, that we do not want to be traumatic… we do not want it to be an exit that may cause dissonance with international law.”

Valencia’s appointment as foreign minister on June 11 was praised by right-wing media outlets in Ecuador. While saying he wants to avoid anything “traumatic” and illegal under the international law of political asylum, he has moved quickly to meet their demands to resolve the Assange “problem.”

According to the telesur news site, Valencia’s recommendations are due to be presented to President Lenín Moreno, who will make the final decision on how to proceed. Moreno, who branded Assange a “stone” in his shoe, has sought to forge closer relations with Washington since taking office in May 2017.

Whatever these backroom machinations involve exactly, Assange is in great danger. WikiLeaks has continued to publish devastating leaks of material exposing US-led war crimes, mass surveillance, coup plots and regime-change operations around the world.

If Assange is pushed out of the embassy he could be immediately arrested by the British authorities and subjected to lengthy imprisonment, pending extradition to the US, where he could face the death penalty on espionage and conspiracy charges.

Leading figures in the Trump administration, including Attorney-General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have publicly declared their intent to get their hands on Assange. Sessions last year described putting Assange on trial as a US “priority” and Pompeo branded WikiLeaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service.”

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Source: World Socialist Web Site | Ecuador in talks to remove Julian Assange from London embassy


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