Assange unplugged by embassy

Ecuador's Foreign Ministry said that Julian Assange's access to communications would be "temporarily restricted" at the embassy. Photo / ESTHR
Ecuador's Foreign Ministry said that Julian Assange's access to communications would be "temporarily restricted" at the embassy. Photo / ESTHR

The Government of Ecuador has directed its embassy in London to cut off the Internet access of long-term guest Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, saying the organisation's recent document releases have had a "major impact" on the US presidential elections.

Ecuador's Foreign Ministry said that Assange's access to communications would be "temporarily restricted" at the embassy, where the WikiLeaks founder has been living since 2012.

WikiLeaks in recent weeks has published intercepted emails between staffers of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton that her opponents have used to depict her as beholden to Wall Street banks.

"The Government of Ecuador respects the principles of non-intervention in the affairs of other nations, does not meddle in electoral campaigns nor support any candidate in particular," the statement read. Ecuador said it had made a "sovereign decision" to unplug Assange, insisting that its Government "does not respond to pressure from other states".

The latter statement was apparently in response to claims by WikiLeaks that the United States has leaned on Ecuador to rein in Assange. The organisation has alleged that Secretary of State John Kerry raised the issue with Ecuador's President Rafael Correa, but a State Department spokesman said such claims were baseless.

- Washington Post

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