Quito, Ecuador — Ecuador has revoked the citizenship of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who is currently in a British prison.
The Ecuadorian judicial system has officially notified Australians of the invalidity of naturalization in a letter received in response to a request filed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South American countries.
Naturalization is considered damaging if permitted on the basis of relevant facts, false documents, or concealment of fraud. Ecuadorian officials say Assange’s naturalized letter had multiple inconsistencies, different signatures, potential document changes, and unpaid fees, among other issues.
Assange’s lawyer Carlos Pobeda told The Associated Press that the decision was made without due process and Assange was not allowed to appear in the case.
“On the day (Assange) was quoted, he was deprived of his freedom and suffered a health crisis in the deprivation of the Freedom Center where he was detained,” Pobeda said.
Mr Pobeda said he would file an appeal seeking expansion and clarification of the decision. “Beyond the importance of nationality, it is a matter of respecting rights and following due process in withdrawing nationality.”
Assange received Ecuadorian citizenship in January 2018 as part of a failed government attempt by then-President Lenín Moreno to turn him into a diplomat to take him out of the London embassy. rice field.
On Monday, the Pichincha Court for controversial administrative issues revoked this decision.
The Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Affairs told AP that the court “acted independently and followed due process in cases filed during the previous administration and filed by the same former administration.”
Assange, 50, has been in London’s secure Belmarsh prison since he was arrested in April 2019 for skipping bail in another court battle seven years ago.
Assange was trapped at the London Embassy in Ecuador for seven years and fled in 2012 to avoid being handed over to Sweden in the face of allegations of rape and sexual assault. Sweden stopped investigating sex crimes in November 2019 after so much time had passed.
US prosecutors have charged Assange with 17 espionage charges and one computer misuse charge for WikiLeaks’ release of thousands of leaked military and diplomatic documents. The prosecution can be sentenced to up to 175 years in prison.
U.S. prosecutors say Assange illegally helped U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning steal classified diplomatic cables and military files later published by WikiLeaks. Assange’s lawyer argues that he is acting as a journalist and has the right to the first amendment of freedom of speech to publish documents exposing U.S. military misconduct in Iraq and Afghanistan. ing.
Earlier this month, the British High Court granted the US government permission to appeal the decision that the founder of WikiLeaks could not be sent to the United States on suspicion of espionage.
In January, a lower court judge denied the United States’ request to send Assange to the United States.