Julian Assange Has Been Arrested After Nearly Seven Years in the Ecuadorian Embassy

The WikiLeaks founder was seen being forcibly removed and shouting, “UK must resist.”

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested Thursday morning, nearly seven years after he took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. 

“He has been taken into custody at a central London police station where he will remain, before being presented before Westminster Magistrates’ Court as soon as is possible,” London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement. Police later confirmed that Assange had been “further arrested” by US authorities in relation to an extradition warrant.

The US Justice Department charged Assange with a conspiracy to commit computer hacking. “The indictment alleges that in March 2010, Assange engaged in a conspiracy with Chelsea Manning, a former intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, to assist Manning in cracking a password stored on U.S. Department of Defense computers connected to the Secret Internet Protocol Network,” a statement read. (Read the full indictment below.)

He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Law enforcement officials on Thursday were seen dragging Assange out of the building while he shouted, “They must resist! UK resist!” 

https://twitter.com/5_News/status/1116289283676090369

In a video message, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said that the government was withdrawing diplomatic asylum status to the controversial WikiLeaks founder for repeatedly “violating international conventions and protocol of coexistence.” 

Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012 while facing extradition to Sweden over charges of sexual assault. In his appearance before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, Assange was found guilty of failing to surrender to police in June 2012 in response to the sexual assault charges.

WikiLeaks has since slammed the arrest, claiming that the Ecuadorian government had “illegally terminated” Assange’s political asylum. The group also sought donations.

This is a breaking news post. We’ll be updating as more information becomes available.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest