Assange, 47, was arrested at the embassy by the Metropolitan Police on Thursday, 11 April, after Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno claimed Assange's asylum had been withdrawn because he had "repeatedly violated international conventions".
So how did we get here?
Assange denies the allegations but refuses to return to Sweden to be questioned and fights a legal battle in the UK that ends in May 2012 when the UK Supreme Court rules he should be extradited to Sweden. He says he fears he would be extradited to the United States — where he faces a long jail sentence for breaching secrecy laws — if he steps foot back in Sweden.
The first person Julian Assange should see is a doctor not a prison cell after being holed up in that embassy for 7 years. If the UK has sny hunan rights, that is.— Naomi Canton (@naomi2009) 11 April 2019
Here are the highlights of Assange's 7 years in the Ecuadorian Embassy.
19 June 2012
- Assange suddenly enters the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and claims political asylum. He is protected by diplomatic immunity as the building is technically an enclave of Ecuadorian territory within the UK and his asylum claim had the prior approval of Ecuador's President Rafael Correa, a left-wing economist and frequent critic of US policy in Latin America.
- Ecuador formally grants asylum to Assange, saying there are fears his human rights might be violated if he is extradited.
- The Metropolitan Police say officers will no longer be stationed outside the Ecuadorian Embassy, due to the cost involved. Scotland Yard said it had cost them £13.2 million for the period from June 2012.
- A UN panel rules Assange has been "arbitrarily detained" by UK and Swedish authorities since 2010.
- During Ecuador's presidential election campaign one of the candidates, Guillermo Lasso, says he would rescind protection for Assange if he is elected. In the end he loses to Lenin Moreno, who had been President Correa's Vice President.
- Sweden's director of public prosecutions say the rape investigation into Assange is being dropped, but he remains in the embassy.
- Britain and Ecuador confirm they are holding ongoing talks over the fate of Assange.
- As his relationship with the government in Quito deteriorates, Assange is given a set of house rules at the embassy.
- Assange says he is launching legal action against the government of Ecuador, accusing it of violating his "fundamental rights and freedoms".
11 April 2019
- Assange is arrested at the embassy by the Metropolitan Police based on a warrant issued by Westminster Magistrates Court on 29 June 2012, for failing to surrender to the court.
"The MPS had a duty to execute the warrant, on behalf of Westminster Magistrates' Court, and was invited into the embassy by the Ambassador, following the Ecuadorian government's withdrawal of asylum", the police said in a statement.