London, UK – In a statement released on Wednesday, the Ecuadorian government confirmed it had cut Assange’s internet communications with the outside world at their London embassy, claiming that his posts on social media put the country’s international relations “at risk.” In addition to Assange’s internet connection being severed, he is also being denied any visitors.

According to NPR, a statement released by Ecuador claimed that “Assange violated a written contract with its government in late 2017, ‘for which he’s obligated not to issue messages that would interfere with relationships with other nations.'” Assange has been living in Ecuador’s embassy for more than five years, in what a UN panel describes as “arbitrary detention,” after seeking asylum from persecution.

A report by the Associated Press explained:

Ecuador granted Assange asylum in the South American nation’s London embassy in 2012, where he has remained cooped up ever since. Ecuador has repeatedly tried to find a solution that would allow Assange to leave without the threat of arrest, but with no success. He remains subject to arrest in Britain for jumping bail and also fears a possible U.S. extradition request based on his leaking of classified State Department documents.

“The government of Ecuador warns that Assange’s behavior, through his messages on social networks, put at risk the country’s good relations with the United Kingdom, the other states of the European Union, and other nations,” the statement read.

On the evening of March 28 Wikileaks offered additional information about the incident and Assange’s current situation, noting that Assange had been ordered by Ecuador to remove a specific tweet that weighed in on the arrest of Carles Puigdemont by German police.

The tweet from Assange reportedly ordered to be removed stated the following:

This is not the first time Ecuador has suspended his internet access. In 2016, he had his internet connection “temporarily restricted” by the Ecuadorian government after WikiLeaks published emails stolen from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, during her presidential campaign which gave the world a candid view inside of the campaign. Former president Rafael Correa gave Assange asylum after he sought refuge in the embassy and reportedly appreciated his work, but current head of state Lenín Moreno advised Assange to avoid involvement in politics and described him as a hacker, according to the AP.

Assange’s friend, Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom, is holding an online vigil being broadcast to You Tube and Facebook Live to “to restore Julian Assange’s human right to freedom of communication,” according to a press release.

Supporters of Julian Assange are currently gathering outside of the Ecuadorian embassy to protest the decision to undermine his human right of communication with the outside world.

The #ReconnectJulian online vigil for Julian Assange is below:

 

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