On Thursday, December 11 Ecuador granted Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange permanent citizenship. Julian Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in the country of Great Britain for almost 6 years now. In 2012 Mr. Assange fled to the embassy afraid that the British Police, who spend most of their time and energy fighting hate-speech online, would turn him over to the Sweedish police. The Swedes wanted Julian Assange for what now can only be assumed to be bogus charges after the Sweedish police have dropped the case. He still faces the possibility of being detained if he ever left the embassy for breaching the conditions of his bail in Britian or a possible sealed indictment awaiting him in the United States due to a plethora of events from the leak of State Department Documents in 2010 to being le epic Russian hax0r.
On Tuesday of this week the Foreign Minister of Equador, María Fernanda Espinosa, said that she is seeking a “third country or a personality” to facilitate talks that would grant Mr. Assange his freedom back. She hopes that these talks will, “facilitate a just, lasting and dignified resolution for all the involved parties.” The UK today rejected a request by Equador to grant Julian diplomatic immunity so it does not look talks will be happening anytime soon. The decision to naturalize Mr. Assange was made just hours after Britain rejected Equador’s offer and what one can only assume is a direct response by Equador to negotiations shutting down. Equador has ramped up its efforts to free Mr. Assange from his captivity which has been condemned by the United Nations despite Britain’s perceived lack of will in cooperation. Greg Barnes, the Wikileaks founder’s lawyer said in a statement that his client has been, “imprisoned with no access to natural light and fresh air for a period of five and a half years.”
Steve Goldstein, the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in Equador, released a statement today that said: “the decision to grant Julian Assange citizenship is a decision between Julian Assange and Ecuador.”
Today María Espinosa said that Mr. Assange had applied for citizenship on Sept. 16 of last year and been granted it on almost 3 months later on Dec. 12. “What naturalization does is provide the asylum seeker another layer of protection,” she said.
Equador sent a formal request to grant the Wikileaks founder diplomatic immunity to Britain on Dec. 20th and received a response the next day rejecting their request.
On Wednesday of this week, the day before Equador announced Julian Assange’s naturalization, he tweeted a picture of him wearing the countries Soccer Jersey as a nod to those who follow him that news like this would be coming soon.
The British Government insists that “The government of Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice.”
Justice for what now you ask? Well, jumping bail in another country for a crime in which he has since had all charges against him dropped.