August 16 will mark six years to the day since WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange was granted political asylum by the Ecuadorian government, after seeking refuge in Ecuador’s London Embassy on June 19, 2012.
In recent months, Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno, who is seeking closer relations with Washington and US investment, has stepped up moves to remove Assange from Ecuador’s Embassy in London. In a tweet and television interview August 6, Moreno declared he will “take measures” against Assange unless he stops “intervening” in the politics and affairs of countries.
Were Assange to be forced out, he faces immediate arrest by the British police and imprisonment on minor bail infringement charges relating to a case dropped by the Swedish authorities over a year ago. Assange fears that if detained by the British authorities, he will be extradited to the US by the Trump administration.
These moves are aimed at denying free speech to Assange and WikiLeaks, who over the last decade have exposed the war crimes, coup plots and mass surveillance carried out by the US government and its allies.
World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to workers and youth in the cities of Sheffield and Salford about the persecution of Assange and the international campaign waged by the International Committee of the Fourth International to demand his freedom.