After 7 Years, WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Arrested in London

Nearly seven years after first seeking refuge in Ecuador, Julian Assange was finally arrested by Scotland Yard upon receiving an extradition request from the US. Julian had been avoiding extradition to Sweden on a rape allegation, by seeking asylum in the Ecuadorean embassy in 2012. The embassy granted his request as Assange feared human rights violations in case he was extradited.

The embassy being diplomatic ground, Scotland Yard was invited inside by the ambassador himself, following the Ecuadorian government's withdrawal of asylum. Soon enough, footage of Assange being removed from the Ecuadorian embassy while shouting, “Resist” repeatedly was all over the internet.

Although WikiLeaks accuses Ecuador of “illegally” terminating the whistleblower's “political asylum in violation of international law,” the fact that he breached bail conditions in the UK still stands against his defense. When asked for comments, the Ecuadorian president, Mr. Lenin Moreno, explained that their country had “reached its limit on the behavior of Mr. Assange” after he repeatedly intervened in other states' internal affairs, referring to Assange's links to WikiLeaks, which recently exposed several Vatican documents.

The president also accused Mr. Assange of breaking the embassy's house rules by accessing secure files, confronting guards, blocking security cameras and installing electronic distortion equipment at the embassy. In more direct dialogue with the press, the president stressed that he sought legal guidance regarding Ecuador's position and maintained that their position was lawful and “in line with our strong commitment to human rights.”

While Julian's critics cheered his arrest, Edward Snowden, former NSA contractor, was quick to respond saying that the arrest of the award-winning journalist “is a dark moment for press freedom” all over the world. Mr. Assange is to remain in custody of London police until presented before a judge at the Westminster Magistrates' Court after a medical assessment.

Image Source: The Guardian

Video Source: Guardian News (Youtube)