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Ecuador: Will the case of Julian Assange end?

The president of Ecuador, Lenin Moreno, negotiates with the United Kingdom an exit for the controversial activist

Ecuador: Will the case of Julian Assange end?

In a tour that has taken him to Spain and the United Kingdom, Lenin Moreno, president of Ecuador since 2017, made it clear that it is time to resolve the case of Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, who remains under asylum in the embassy of the Andean country in London since 2012.

Leer en español: Ecuador: ¿Se acerca el fin del “Caso Assange"?

The former vice president of Rafael Correa between 2007 and 2013, to later become his biggest adversary, wants to distance himself as much as possible from the policies of his predecessor and one of his major challenges as a leader is to find a way out for the Australian computer scientist within the law.

In an interview given to the Spanish newspaper El País, Lenin Moreno acknowledged that his ideal scenario would be to talk with both Assange and his lawyer to convince them to accept the responsibility of the founder of Wikileaks for not going regularly to the British justice, assuming a small conviction and that after its fulfillment, he could be extradited to a country where his integrity is not in danger. That destination could be Ecuador, since the previous government granted him the nationality. "For me it is important to preserve Assange's rights, and especially his right to life," Moreno said.

We must remember that since March of this year, Assange has been banned from communicating with the outside world, a restriction from Ecuador that punishes the Australian for breaching the commitment not to issue messages that would imply an interference by the South American country with other states.

Read also: Did the legacy of Rafael Correa in Ecuador come to an end?

The problem with the British justice seems the minor issue of Assange, who has two other judicial fronts open: on the one hand, Sweden claims for alleged sexual crimes, although these have already prescribed, the United Kingdom could stop him for not meeting the conditions of his conditional freedom when seeking refuge in Ecuador. On the other hand, the United States claims to judge him by the leaks made through Wikileaks. This seems to be Assange's greatest fear.

Assange also faces another problem: general oblivion. At first, his rebellion was received with sympathy by many countries and organizations. However, with the passage of time Assange has become more of a nuisance than a useful one. To all this we must unite the physical and psychological wear produced by 6 years of imprisonment in the embassy of Ecuador in London. In his last public appearances, on one of the balconies of the diplomatic headquarters, one could appreciate his remarkable deterioration, with his emaciated face. Some embassy officials who have regular contact with him claim that his mental state is not the best which leads to continuous inconsistencies.

It is still early to know if Moreno's visit to the United Kingdom will be an advance for this case but it does seem that this issue is a priority on the agenda of Rafael Correa's successor.

 

LatinAmerican Post | José María González
Translated from “Ecuador: ¿Se acerca el fin del “Caso Assange"?”

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