WikiLeaks’ Assange Arrested in London, Withdrawn Asylum Status

In this file photo dated Friday May 19, 2017, watched by the media WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange looks out from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy prior to speaking, in London. Photo: Matt Dunham / Associated Press
In this file photo dated Friday May 19, 2017, watched by the media WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange looks out from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy prior to speaking, in London. Photo: Matt Dunham / Associated Press

LONDON — Ecuador’s president said Thursday his government withdrew asylum status for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in Ecuador’s embassy in London, citing “repeated violations of international conventions and daily-life protocols.”

Lenin Moreno announced the “sovereign decision” in a statement accompanied by a video on Twitter after police in London said they’ve arrested Assange at the Ecuadorean embassy on a court warrant dating back to 2012, almost seven years after he sought refuge there.

In a statement, police said Assange 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.”

Assange hasn’t left the embassy since August 2012 for fear that if he steps off Ecuador’s diplomatic soil he will be arrested and extradited to the U.S. for publishing thousands of classified military and diplomatic cables through WikiLeaks.