Kirsters Baish| RT.com reported that Ecuador is preparing to release WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, to the United Kingdom within the “coming weeks or even days.” RT’s editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan cited her own sources on the matter.
Simonyan wrote on Twitter,“My sources tell [Julian] Assange will be handed over to Britain in the coming weeks or even days. Like never before, I wish my sources were wrong.”
Мои источники говорят, что Ассанжа в ближайшие недели или даже дни сдадут Британии. Как никогда мне хочется, чтобы мои источники ошибались.
— Маргарита Симоньян (@M_Simonyan) July 19, 2018
WikiLeaks later retweeted the message:
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 20, 2018
The message from Simonyan comes at a time that Ecuador is in the midst of discussing Assange’s release to the UK. It was just earlier in the week that the UK Times reported that Britain is in the middle of important discussions with Ecuador regarding Assange’s removal from their embassy.
It has been said that the Foreign Office Minister, Sir Alan Duncan, is leading the diplomatic effort. Those close to Julian Assange have stated that he did not know that the talks were taking place, but he did believe the the United States was placing “significant pressure” on Ecuador. This included the threat of a loan block from the International Monetary Fund if Assange remains at the embassy.
The report from the Times came just a few weeks prior to newly-elected President of Ecuador Lenin Moreno’s visit to the United Kingdom. Moreno has called Assange a “hacker,” an “inherited problem,” and a “stone in the shoe” in the past.
There have been some significant signs that point toward Assange becoming an issue for Ecuador. It was later in March when the Ecuadorian government decided to take away all of Assange’s communication privileges with anyone from the outside world. They no longer allowed him connection to the internet at the embassy.
The decision to cut Assange off from the outside world came after he allegedly breached an agreement in which he stated that he would not have anything to do with other states’ issues. In the past, Assange had slammed the Spanish government for their brutal handling of the Catalan independence movement.
The WikiLeaks founder has been stuck at the Ecuadorian embassy for six years. Back in 2012, he was sent there when he requested asylum from the Latin American state. At the time, Assange was wanted for sexual assault in Sweden, however he was concerned that being extradited would wind up with him being transferred to America where he felt he would not receive a fair trial.
The US has been saying that Assange was “engaged in terrorism,” with Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, last year calling his arrest a “priority.” Over the years, WikiLeaks has published hundreds of thousands of classified US files, including the cables on the Iraq War, leaked by whistleblower Chelsea Manning in 2010.
Despite the Swedish investigation against him being closed in May last year, the Australian journalist was still unable to leave the embassy because of an outstanding British warrant for allegedly breaching bail conditions and no guarantees of him not being sent to the US.
Throughout the years, human rights groups have loved to show their support for Julian Assange. They have insisted that he be set free. One UN panel even found that his extended stay at the embassy were “arbitrary detention.” None of it mattered, however. He still remains there today.