Ecuador’s FM confirms WikiLeaks Julian Assange still alive

Ecuador’s FM confirms WikiLeaks Julian Assange still alive
Ecuador's Foreign Affairs Minister Guillaume Long addresses the United Nations General Assembly in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., September 23, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

UPDATE [10:38 AM EST]: WikiLeaks claims that Secretary of State John Kerry demanded that Ecuador stop them from publishing documents damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the FARC peace negotiations back on September 26th.

WikiLeaks statement through Twitter:

"BREAKING: Multiple US sources tell us John Kerry asked Ecuador to stop Assange from publishing Clinton docs during FARC peace negotiations." [link]

"The John Kerry private meeting with Ecuador was made on the sidelines of the negotiations which took place pricipally on Sep 26 in Colombia." [link]


Ecuador’s foreign minister Guillaume Long has confirmed that Julian Assange is still alive and under the protection of asylum in their London embassy.

  • Ecuador foreign minister, Guillaume Long: "The circumstances that led to the granting of asylum remain.”
  • Long’s statement through twitter: “Facing the speculations in recent hours, the government of Ecuador reaffirms the validity of the asylum granted to Julian Assange four years ago. We confirm that the protection of the Ecuadorian state will continue as long as the circumstances that motivated the permission of such asylum remain.”
  • WikiLeaks statement: We can confirm Ecuador cut off Assange's internet access Saturday, 5 pm GMT (1 pm EST), shortly after publication of (Hillary) Clinton's Goldman Sachs speeches (sic).”
  • Assange has lived and worked in Ecuador's London embassy since June 2012.
  • WikiLeaks, Sunday night: “We have activated the appropriate contingency plans.”
  • Ecuadoran government offered no immediate comment on the question of internet access.
  • Ecuador’s leftist President Rafael Correa has long backed Assange's right to free speech but has said he is behind Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
  • Correa to Russia Today Spanish on Sept. 30: “For the US it would certainly be better if Hillary won. I know her personally and have a great deal of respect for her.” 
  • People close to WikiLeaks say that Assange himself is the principal operator of the website's Twitter feed.
  • WikiLeaks posted a fresh batch of Podesta's emails on Monday afternoon.

(WASHINGTON, DC) Anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said on Monday that its founder Julian Assange's internet was shut down by the government of Ecuador, deflecting blame from the U.S. or British governments which have sparred with Assange for releasing sensitive material.

"We can confirm Ecuador cut off Assange's internet access Saturday, 5 pm GMT, shortly after publication of (Hillary) Clinton's Goldman Sachs speeches (sic)," the statement from WikiLeaks said.

Assange has lived and worked in Ecuador's London embassy since June 2012, having been granted asylum there after a British court ordered him extradited to Sweden to face questioning in a sexual molestation case involving two female WikiLeaks supporters.

WikiLeaks said Assange lost internet connectivity on Sunday night.

"We have activated the appropriate contingency plans," added the Twitter message on Monday. People close to WikiLeaks say that Assange himself is the principal operator of the website's Twitter feed.

The Ecuadoran government offered no immediate comment on the question of internet access, but the country's foreign minister, Guillaume Long, said Assange remained under government protection.

Long said in a statement late on Monday:

“Facing the speculations in recent hours, the government of Ecuador reaffirms the validity of the asylum granted to Julian Assange four years ago. We confirm that the protection of the Ecuadorian state will continue as long as the circumstances that motivated the permission of such asylum remain.”

The government of leftist President Rafael Correa has long backed Assange's right to free speech, though the Wikileaks saga has caused some strain in relations with the United States, including the expulsion of diplomats in 2011.

Correa, whose term will end next year, has said he is behind

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, who he says he knows personally, in the U.S. presidential election.

"For the good of the United States and the world ... I would like Hillary to win," Correa told broadcaster Russia Today last month.

Over the last two weeks, Democratic Party officials and U.S. government agencies have accused the Russian government, including the country's "senior-most officials," of pursuing a campaign of cyber attacks against Democratic Party organizations ahead of the Nov. 8 election.

WikiLeaks has been one of the most prominent internet outlets to post and promote hacked Democratic Party materials. While denying any connection with a Russian hacking campaign, Assange has refused to disclose WikiLeaks' sources for hacked Democratic Party messages.

Sources close to both the Democratic Party and WikiLeaks say they believe WikiLeaks has acquired as many as 40,000-50,000 emails hacked from the personal accounts of John Podesta, the former White House advisor who now chairs Clinton's presidential campaign.

Despite Assange's complaint that his internet connection was cut, WikiLeaks posted on Monday afternoon what it said was a fresh batch of Podesta's emails.

According to a summary of the latest emails posted on Russia Today, a media outlet with close links to the Russian government, highlights include campaign staff discussions about "galvanizing Latino support" and about how to handle media queries about Clinton's "flip-flopping" on gay marriage.

This article was contributed by Reuters

Please contact TRUNEWS correspondent Edward Szall with any news tips related to this story.
Email: Edward.Szall@trunews.com | Twitter: @EdwardSzall | Facebook: Ed Szall 
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