Ecuador Cuts Off WikiLeaks Founder's Outside Communications

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks from the balcony of the Ecuadorean embassy in London in a file

The Government of Ecuador suspended the systems allowing Julian Assange to communicate with the outside from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where the citizen remains in a situation of global protection for six years due to risks to his life and integrity.

Officials announced Wednesday they were taking the measure in response to Mr Assange's recent activity on social media.

The Australian computer programmer has been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 in an effort to avoid extraditing to Sweden.

The move to cut off Assange came after he used Twitter on Monday to challenge Britain's accusation that Russia was responsible for the March 4 nerve agent poisoning of a Russian former double agent in the English city of Salisbury.

Relations between Mr Assange and his host nation have often grown prickly.

Ecuador said Assange's tweets violate an agreement in which the embassy would give him political asylum, but mandates that he refrain from issuing "messages that supposed an interference in relation to other states".

He remains subject to arrest in Britain for skipping bail and also fears a possible US extradition request based on his leaking of classified US State Department documents.

Ecuador suspended his internet access in 2016 after a WikiLeaks dump targeting Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Assange, who after six years in confinement is reportedly in ailing health, was granted asylum by former president Rafael Correa. Meanwhile, there's still an arrest warrant for him in Britain for jumping bail.

In 2016, Ecuador briefly suspended Assange's internet connection for posting documents online that were seen as having an impact on the USA presidential election. While that investigation was dropped a year ago, England has refused to guarantee Assange's safe passage out of the cramped embassy, and he's long feared that he may be extradited to the United States for publishing confidential and classified information.

The comments prompted a British Foreign Office minister, Alan Duncan, to brand Assange a "miserable little worm" who should leave the embassy to turn himself over to British authorities.

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