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17 May, 2018

Ecuador’s ex-president Rafael Correa denounces treatment of Julian Assange as “torture”

Former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, in an exclusive interview with the Intercept on Wednesday morning, denounced his country’s current government’s for blocking Julian Assange from receiving visitors in its Embassy in London as a form of “torture” and a violation of Ecuador’s duties to protect Assange’s safety and well-being. Correa said this took place in the context of Ecuador no longer maintaining “normal sovereign relations with the American government — just submission.

Correa also responded to a widely discussed Guardian article yesterday which claimed that “Ecuador bankrolled a multimillion-dollar spy operation to protect and support Julian Assange in its central London embassy.” The former President mocked the story as highly “sensationalistic,” accusing the Guardian of seeking to depict routine and modest embassy security measures as something scandalous or unusual.

On March 27, Assange’s internet access at the Ecuadorian embassy in London was cut off by Ecuadorian officials, who also installed jamming devices to prevent Assange from accessing the internet using other means of connection. Assange’s previously active Twitter account has had no activity since then, nor have any journalists been able to communicate with him. All visitors to the Embassy have also been denied access to Assange, who was formally made a citizen of Ecuador earlier this year.

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