Ecuador grants citizenship to Julian Assange

Addis Ababa, January (FBC) - Ecuador has granted citizenship to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up in its London embassy for more than five years.

Maria Fernanda Espinosa, Ecuador's foreign minister, told reporters on Thursday that the South American country accepted Assange's application for naturalisation in December.

"What naturalisation does is provide the asylum seeker another layer of protection," she told reporters in Quito.

The Australian-born activist took refuge at the Ecuadorean embassy in the UK capital in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, amid fears that he would have been handed over to the US to face prosecution over the publication of classified military and diplomatic documents by WikiLeaks.

He was wanted in Sweden for questioning over rape accusations. Prosecutors there dropped the case last year, but Assange remained in the embassy after British police said he would still be arrested for violating bail conditions. 

Source: Aljazeera

Posted by Amare Asrat