Breaking News: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange arrested by British police

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Wikileaks founder Julian Assange arrested by British police
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange arrested by British police
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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by British police on Thursday after they were invited into the Ecuadorian embassy where he has been holed up since 2012.

“Julian Assange, 47, has today, Thursday 11 April, been arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) at the Embassy of Ecuador,” police said.

Police said they arrested Assange after being “invited into the embassy by the Ambassador, following the Ecuadorian government’s withdrawal of asylum.”

He will face court later on Thursday (local time).

Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno said Assange’s asylum was withdrawn for repeated violations of international conventions.

Wikileaks says Ecuador has illegally terminated Assange’s political asylum in violation of international law.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by British police on Thursday after they were invited into the Ecuadorian embassy. Source: RUPTLY

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by British police on Thursday after they were invited into the Ecuadorian embassy. Source: RUPTLY

Britain guaranteed to Ecuador that Assange will not be extradited to a country that has the death penalty, Mr Moreno said on Thursday after the arrest.

“In line with our strong commitment to human rights and international law, I requested Great Britain to guarantee that Mr Assange would not be extradited to a country where he could face torture or the death penalty,” Mr Moreno said in a video posted on Twitter.

“The British government has confirmed it in writing, in accordance with its own rules.”

Assange took refuge in 2012 in Ecuador’s London embassy, behind the luxury department store Harrods, to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where authorities wanted to question him as part of a sexual assault investigation.

Assange speaks to reporters on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in May 2017. Source: AAP

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Assange speaks to reporters on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in May 2017. Source: AAP

Sweden later dropped the investigation, but Assange was arrested on Thursday for breaking the rules of his original bail in London.

He feared being extradited to face charges in the United States, where federal prosecutors are investigating WikiLeaks.

Assange’s relationship with his hosts collapsed after Ecuador accused him of leaking information about Mr Moreno’s personal life. Mr Moreno had previously said Assange has violated the terms of his asylum.

Mr Moreno said that he had asked Britain to guarantee that Assange would not be extradited to a country where he could face torture or the death penalty.

“The British government has confirmed it in writing, in accordance with its own rules,” Moreno said.

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Protesters demonstrate in support of Julian Assange outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in South Kensington on April 5. Source: Getty Images

WikiLeaks said Ecuador had illegally terminated Assange’s political asylum in violation of international law.

To some, Assange is a hero for exposing what supporters cast as abuse of power by modern states and for championing free speech. But to others, he is a dangerous rebel who has undermined the security of the United States.

Supporters of Assange had argued that living in the cramped conditions without access to sunlight had damaged his health.

Sweden closed its preliminary investigation into a suspected rape in 2017 as there was “no reason to believe that the decision to hand him (Assange) over to Sweden could be implemented within a reasonable timeframe”.

Source : News Australia

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