After five long years of struggle, Julian Assange is officially an Ecuadorian citizen. His precarious legal situation is now slightly more stable.
Assange has been held up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, unable to take a single step outside for fear of being arrested. Multiple government entities are out for his blood.
“Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice,” a representative for Britain’s Foreign Office said in a statement.
The Swedes have abandoned their case against him, but British officials still insist that he’s a criminal worthy of prosecution. They’ll arrest him the instant he tries to walk out of the embassy, citizenship or no.
“Even if he has two or three nationalities, the United Kingdom will continue in its efforts against him,” said Fredy Rivera of the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences in Ecuador.
The Americans are interested in Assange as well. The WikiLeaks founder has been careless with state secrets.
Assange’s position is still difficult. Despite his newfound citizenship, he still can’t leave the embassy.
“What naturalization does is provide the asylum seeker another layer of protection,” explained Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa.
The New York Post adds that “Ecuador is trying to make Assange a member of its diplomatic team, which would grant him additional rights under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, including special legal immunity and safe passage.”
Assange has become something of a cult figure. Depending on who’s speaking he’s viewed either as a daring political activist or selfish opportunist.
(Source: New York Post)