Assange faces ongoing threats at Ecuador’s London embassy
8 April 2019
Over the weekend, the Ecuadorian government issued a statement denying that it was going to “imminently” expel Julian Assange from its London embassy. This followed mounting opposition to its threats to terminate the WikiLeaks founder’s political asylum, including from United Nations bodies and other international rights organisations.
The statement was in response to WikiLeaks’ warning last Friday that it had received information from a “high-level source” within the Ecuadorian state that the government of President Lenín Moreno would expel Assange from the embassy, where he sought political asylum in 2012, within “hours or days.”
Significantly, the Ecuadorian statement did not deny that it had been preparing to evict Assange from the building. Nor did it give any guarantee that he would not be removed and forced into the custody of British police at some point in the future, only that it would not take place “imminently.” As WikiLeaks supporters have noted, “imminent” is a vague word that can be interpreted in different ways.
The statement also did not repudiate comments by the country’s foreign minister, Jose Valencia, on Friday, that his government had the right to “unilaterally” end political asylum, even though such action is in violation of international law.
It twice referenced the fact that WikiLeaks tweeted reports on the “INA papers,” documents which implicate the Moreno government in corruption, perjury and fraud. The regime has used the papers as a pretext for the stepped-up attacks on Assange, by making unsubstantiated claims that he was responsible for leaking them to an Ecuadorian opposition lawmaker last…