In addition to the ban on leaving Ecuador’s embassy in the UK, where he stays in a moderate room cut off from the Internet, Julian Assange has been requested to stay on his Twitter-diet for an indefinite period of time. President Lenín Moreno said in his recent interview with the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle that Julian Assange could continue to enjoy his right to asylum in the country, but only if he obeyed the outlined conditions. Otherwise, Ecuador “will make a decision.”
“Do not forget that his asylum status prevents him from talking about politics and intervening in friendly countries' politics. We have cut off this line of communication,” the president told DW.
Moreno also admitted that the Australian, wanted in the US for leaking secret dossier on Iraq, has been a problem to his country, but expressed respect for his right to the Asylum. He categorically denied that the US or any other governments had pressed Ecuador to remove the protection of Assange, who "went beyond the limits of freedom of expression."
Twitter was split. Some slammed Assange and urged Ecuador to strip the asylum status from him.
C’mon, Ecuador-enough already. Throw the bum out!— Mme Curie (@MmeScience) 1 июня 2018 г.
Are they holding him prisoner (bad nasty Ecuador!) Or is he free to walk outside if he decided the terms are too onerous?— K'Tetch (@ktetch) 31 мая 2018 г.
He's gotta pick a side and take some responsibility for once.
There were those surprised that the row around Assange is still an issue and suggested a way-out…
🤣 🤣 🤣 Mans still being a problem— Young Godot (@Thee_Dt) 1 июня 2018 г.
He’s being prepared for extradition to the US.— MJ (@MJP1113) 31 мая 2018 г.
…and expressed their regret over the way Ecuador treats him.
Then you’re completely brain dead. Assange spoke truth to power. He was working for all of us. Now they’re torturing him through isolation. Wtf is wrong with you?— Politics_Please (@Politics_Please) 1 июня 2018 г.
Lenin Moreno, who was elected president in 2017, has previously suggested that Assange was “more than a nuisance” and an “inherited problem” in the interview with a national broadcaster. Former president Rafael Correa let Assange took refuge at Ecuador’s Embassy in London in 2012 after he was accused of sexual offenses. He fears extradition to the United States, where he is wanted for leaking damning Iraq War logs.
The rules of stay for Assange have become stricken over the last year. In March, the embassy cut off Assange's internet access s, stating the 46-year-old violated an agreement that stated he would not interfere with Ecuador's relationship with other countries.
This May, Moreno also ordered the shutting down of special security, citing problems with Assange after the Guardian and Fokus Ecuador revealed that the country had spent at least $5 million on a spy operation to support and protect Assange in its embassy in London. It was put into a secret intelligence operation, dubbed "Operation Guest," and employing undercover agents to monitor Assange's visitors, embassy employees and the UK police.
In January 2018, Ecuador granted citizenship to the WikiLeaks co-founder, so he could get diplomatic immunity and leave the building.