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posted by martyb on Thursday March 29 2018, @07:26AM   Printer-friendly
from the who-ya-gonna-call? dept.

Ecuador cuts off Julian Assange's internet access at London embassy

The government of Ecuador has confirmed that it has cut off internet access in its embassy in London to Julian Assange, the founder of the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks, saying that he was putting the country's international relations at risk.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Ecuador said that the step had been taken because Assange had failed to abide by an agreement not to interfere in the South American country's relations with other states.

"The government of Ecuador warns that Assange's behaviour, through his messages on social networks, put at risk the country's good relations with the United Kingdom, the other states of the European Union, and other nations," the statement said.

[...] Ecuador temporarily cut Assange's internet connection in 2016, over fears that he was using it to interfere in the US presidential election, but it was later restored.

Also at the Miami Herald and teleSUR.

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  • (Score: 2) by zocalo on Thursday March 29 2018, @05:17PM (4 children)

    by zocalo (302) on Thursday March 29 2018, @05:17PM (#660064)
    Sure, that's an option, but I did say legal options, and in any event the UK government isn't exactly in a strong position at present and probably wouldn't want to roll the dice by being party to a rendition after the public outcry last time they were found to be party to it, and Assange has a much higher profile than most of those that were renditioned. Rendition is also going to incur an awful lot of cost, effort, and potential inconvenience to bystanders if he's on a commercial flight for someone who arguably hasn't directly harmed US interests himself, and that's before you factor in the fact that Trump doesn't seem to care all that much about the issue - and actually seemed pro-Wikileaks when they were harming Hillary Clinton's presidential run. I'm sure if it came to it, the UK, Australia, and Ecuador, wouldn't do much to intervene other than make some political platitudes to the press (if that), but ultimately he's really just an inconvenience and probably not worth the effort.

    A regular extradition request seems more likely, especially if he's already back in custody for his bail violation, but even then then UK has been getting a lot less willing to extradite to the US of late, with the legal process taking years either way, again - a lot of cost and effort. It's highly likely he'll be free and clear of the bail issues long before that process completes, so what does the UK do to keep him under the thumb then - house arrest and a tracking bracelet again? Besides, is the US *really* that desperate for Assange to face trial (and for what, exactly?), or even just disappear, or is it just Assange's paranoia being hyped up to further his image as some kind of a martyr to a cause?
    UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
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  • (Score: 2) by Pav on Thursday March 29 2018, @11:41PM (1 child)

    by Pav (114) on Thursday March 29 2018, @11:41PM (#660234)

    Assange is not a UK citizen, and currently Australia has a neocon-friendly government in power. The US establishment would probably LOVE another excuse to call Trump a Putin puppet, and I wouldn't put it past the Aussie government to privately pressure the UK to have him extradited.

    • (Score: 2) by zocalo on Friday March 30 2018, @11:35AM

      by zocalo (302) on Friday March 30 2018, @11:35AM (#660338)
      Yes, Assange is by birth Australian but has been granted Ecuadorian citizenship. The Australian government seems to have washed their hands of him though as I don't recall a single official statement in the media about his situation from them, so unless he actually returns to Australia or walks into an Australian consulate/embassy I doubt that is going to change, no matter what might transpire. As for the claimed health issues, there's one very good reason why he'd choose go through that - paranoia. Assange seems 100% certain that the US wants him to face trial, despite the only evidence for this being limited to statements made in an unofficial capacity, but as long as he thinks - rightly or wrongly - that he's going to get extradited and convicted, then he's going to remain in his self-imposed house-arrest.
      UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
  • (Score: 2) by Pav on Friday March 30 2018, @12:09AM (1 child)

    by Pav (114) on Friday March 30 2018, @12:09AM (#660241)

    BTW, Assange has required a root canal for two years, and has some other undisclosed health issues that are reportedly life threatening. One wouldn't take that amount of pain and health deterioration for no reason.