Quito: The UK has assured in a written statement that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange would not be extradited to any nation where he would face the death penalty, said Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno on Thursday in a radio interview. However, the Ecuadorian President has ramped up the pressure on Assange to leave the Ecuadorian embassy.
According to reports, Ecuador has cut off Assange’s communications in March, ever since he revealed sensitive details about the country online that could possibly affect its diplomatic relations. For instance, Assange spoke about the tensions prevailing between London and Moscow and about Catalonian separatism.
“The road is clear for Mr Assange to take the decision to leave,” Moreno was quoted by the Associated Press as saying. Though Moreno did not force Assange to leave the embassy, he stated that Assange’s legal team is considering the next move. In a nine-page memo, Ecuador asked Assange to refrain from commenting on political matters. Assange was asked to clean the bathroom in the embassy and take better care of his pet cat. Assange, in turn, sued Ecuador for violating his “fundamental rights and freedoms.”
After having caught up in allegations of sexual harassment in 2010, Assange took asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. On December 7, 2010, Assange voluntarily surrendered to the UK police. He was kept in custody for a period of ten days before being released on bail. After he lost an appeal against extradition to Sweden, he failed to comply with the bail term and absconded.
The 47-year-old Australian national was granted asylum at the Ecuadorean Embassy in central London for six years since August 2012.