There have been several stories saying Assange has gotten an Ecuador ID card. Now France24 has a “crawler” saying he has citizenship. The announcer saying the Ecudorian government confirmed his citizenship as of December. Looking for confirmation yields things like this one:
WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, who has been confined to the premises of Ecuador’s Embassy in the UK for five and a half years, may have acquired citizenship from the Andean country as his name has reportedly appeared on an Ecuadorean government database of national identification numbers.
Assange, now 46, took refuge in Ecuador’s Embassy in the British capital of London in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where prosecutors had earlier issued a European arrest warrant against him on rape and sexual assault charges filed by two women back in 2010. He feared that Swedish authorities really aimed to extradite him to the US, where he is wanted for publishing classified US documents on Wikileaks.
Although Swedish prosecutors in May dropped the rape charges against Assange, British police, who have permanent presence outside the embassy, said Assange would still be taken into custody if he left the perimeters.
On Thursday, Reuters reported that an entry had appeared for “Julian Paul Assange” in Ecuador’s Civil Registry, which only includes the names of Ecuadorean citizens. The news agency said a spokeswoman for the registry had refused to comment when asked whether Assange had been granted citizenship.
Assange tweeted a photo of himself wearing the jersey of Ecuador’s national soccer team on Wednesday, when the Ecuadorean media also published reports of the news, further fueling speculation that he had received citizenship from the South American country.
Neither Assange nor his attorneys have commented on the reports so far.
On Wednesday, Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry had said in a statement that it was trying to resolve Assange’s situation, without commenting on his possible acquisition of citizenship.
Assange has denied the rape and sexual assault accusations and says the allegations are politically-motivated and are part of an attempt to ultimately have him extradited to the United States, where he could be charged over WikiLeaks’ release of 500,000 secret military files on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, considered to be one of the largest information leaks in US history.
He has not been able to leave the Ecuadorian embassy since 2012 and faces potential psychological health risks because of the long confinement.
Ecuador’s Foreign Minister María Fernanda Espinosa said on Tuesday that her country was seeking a “third country or a personality” to mediate a settlement with Britain and resolve the “unsustainable” situation.
Speculation is running that once a citizen, Assange will be named a diplomat and thus protected from the vindictive machinations of the UK and can leave the country.
Remember that the original charges from Sweden have been dropped, so all that the UK has is the fact he bugged out to the Embassy when he realized he was being set up. So now his “crime” is to have avoided a railroad to the setup.
So now we get to watch the show unfold.