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Ecuador suspends Julian Assange's internet access at London embassy

Ecuador says it has again suspended Julian Assange's ability to communicate with the world outside its embassy in Lon...

Posted: Mar 29, 2018 9:01 AM
Updated: Mar 29, 2018 9:01 AM

Ecuador says it has again suspended Julian Assange's ability to communicate with the world outside its embassy in London. The South American nation accuses him of failing to commit to an agreement not to release messages interfering with other nations' affairs.

The WikiLeaks founder has normally had internet and social media access at the embassy, where Ecuador granted him asylum and allowed him to stay continuously for nearly six years to avoid an arrest warrant.

But Ecuador says it cut off his outside communications access -- for at least the second time in two years -- on Tuesday.

"The government of Ecuador has suspended all systems that allow Julian Assange to communicate outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London," Ecuador's statement, released Wednesday, reads.

"This decision was taken due to Assange's failure to commit to the written agreement he agreed with the government at the end of 2017, where he was obligated not to release any messages that would interfere with other countries' matters.

"Ecuador's government warns that Assange's behavior through his social media messages puts in risk the good relationship the country has with the UK, other EU countries and other nations."

The statement did not specify which message or messages, if any, violated the agreement.

Assange's recent tweets

Assange has been holed up at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 in an effort to avoid a Swedish arrest warrant for alleged rape -- accusations he has always denied.

Sweden dropped the charges in May 2017, but Assange remains the subject of a UK arrest warrant.

Assange has recently tweeted about a wide range of subjects, including the UK's accusation that Russia was likely responsible for a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain.

"While it is reasonable for (UK Prime Minister) Theresa May to view the Russian state as the leading suspect, so far the evidence is circumstantial & the OCPW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) has not yet made any independent confirmation, permitting the Kremlin (to) push the view domestically that Russia is persecuted," Assange posted to Twitter on Monday.

His most recent Tweets, sent Tuesday, respond to an insult from Alan Duncan, a minister of state at the Foreign Office. Duncan, during a parliamentary session, called Assange a "miserable little worm" who should leave the embassy and give himself up to British justice.

"As a political prisoner detained without charge for 8 years, in violation of 2 UN rulings, I suppose I must be 'miserable'; yet nothing wrong with being a 'little' person although I'm rather tall; and better a 'worm,' a healthy creature that invigorates the soil, than a snake," Assange tweeted Tuesday.

Ecuador's relationship with Assange has been uneasy in recent years. It temporarily cut off his internet access in October 2016, citing a batch of documents that WikiLeaks released -- documents that Ecuador said targeted the 2016 US presidential election campaign.

Assange has previously expressed concern that if he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy in London, he could end up being extradited to the United States, where he fears facing the death penalty over allegations of revealing government secrets through WikiLeaks.

In December, Ecaudor granted Assange citizenship, with Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa calling the measure "one more ring of protection" for Assange.

Espinosa in January said Ecuador would continue to pursue a dialogue with the UK to eventually remove Assange from the embassy.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312608

Reported Deaths: 7221
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21429257
Hinds20256414
Harrison17776308
Rankin13539278
Jackson13395246
Madison10051217
Lee9956173
Jones8364163
Forrest7633152
Lauderdale7215240
Lowndes6359144
Lamar620286
Lafayette6162118
Washington5320133
Bolivar4796132
Oktibbeha460398
Panola4545104
Pearl River4495145
Marshall4387103
Warren4368120
Pontotoc419372
Monroe4089133
Union408776
Neshoba4028176
Lincoln3939110
Hancock376686
Leflore3484125
Sunflower335290
Tate331684
Pike3290105
Scott314873
Alcorn310768
Yazoo310269
Itawamba299377
Copiah295865
Coahoma293979
Simpson293788
Tippah287268
Prentiss278560
Marion268680
Leake264973
Wayne262241
Grenada259985
Adams259882
Covington256281
Newton246961
George246748
Winston226981
Tishomingo225067
Jasper220748
Attala214273
Chickasaw207057
Holmes188672
Clay184654
Stone181433
Clarke178179
Tallahatchie177840
Calhoun169532
Yalobusha162936
Smith162034
Walthall133745
Greene130233
Lawrence128223
Noxubee126834
Montgomery126742
Perry126038
Amite123442
Carroll121628
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis106932
Tunica104626
Claiborne102130
Benton99025
Humphreys96133
Kemper95628
Franklin83323
Quitman79616
Choctaw75818
Wilkinson66830
Jefferson65428
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 528784

Reported Deaths: 10913
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson762251516
Mobile40864804
Madison34569501
Tuscaloosa25646451
Montgomery24264585
Shelby23355246
Baldwin20993306
Lee15800168
Calhoun14457312
Morgan14250279
Etowah13796352
Marshall12166222
Houston10506280
Elmore10017205
Limestone9935150
Cullman9617193
St. Clair9584237
Lauderdale9397238
DeKalb8813185
Talladega8183175
Walker7205279
Autauga6910107
Jackson6793110
Blount6621135
Colbert6282134
Coffee5491115
Dale4810111
Russell437938
Chilton4244111
Franklin423882
Covington4105117
Tallapoosa4004150
Escambia392675
Chambers3545123
Dallas3536150
Clarke350360
Marion3092100
Pike309177
Lawrence299698
Winston273572
Bibb259763
Marengo248564
Geneva247075
Pickens233559
Barbour230256
Hale221776
Butler215469
Fayette211962
Henry188544
Cherokee183845
Randolph179241
Monroe176240
Washington166839
Macon158649
Clay153356
Crenshaw151657
Cleburne148341
Lamar141234
Lowndes138453
Wilcox126528
Bullock122941
Conecuh110028
Perry107526
Coosa106828
Sumter104132
Greene92234
Choctaw60324
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