Journalism of Courage

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange arrested by London police at Ecuadorian embassy

London’s Metropolitan Police confirmed on Thursday that they had arrested Wikileaks founder Julian Assange  at the Ecuadorian Embassy in the British capital. The arrest came after Ecuador dropped Assange’s asylum status, effectively evicting him from their embassy.

The police said Assange was detained “on a warrant issued by Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 29 June 2012, for failing to surrender to the court” and taken to a central London police station “where he will remain, before being presented before Westminster Magistrates’ Court as soon as is possible.

The police later confirmed that he was also placed under arrest “on behalf” of U.S. law enforcement authorities, who had filed a formal extradition request.

Video captured by Russian news agency Ruptly showed police removing Assange, 47, from the embassy on Thursday in handcuffs. His hair appeared to have grown significantly longer and whiter since his last appearance, and he had a long grey beard.

The police said they were “invited into the embassy by the Ambassador, following the Ecuadorian government’s withdrawal of asylum.” Ecuador’s government said it had dropped it’s protection of Assange, “for repeatedly violating international conventions and protocol of coexistence.”Assange was granted asylum by Ecuador in 2012 as he faced  allegations of sex crime in Sweden that he said were a guise to extradite him to the U.S. That case has been dropped, but he was still subject to arrest for dodging the warrant in the first place.

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