A day after Quito issued his ID card, Ecuador’s Foreign Affairs ministry have granted naturalization to Australian-born Julian Assange who have sought refuge at their London embassy since 2012.
As the government of Ecuador seeks for ways to end the nearly 6 years stay of the Wikileaks founder at its embassy in London, issuing a passport cement the grounds of obtaining diplomatic immunity for the hacker-turned-freelance journalist.
The passport was issued December 12, according to reports. The Foreign Office of the UK has rejected all request to grant Julian diplomatic status. A spokesman for the Foreign Office weighs in ”The government of Ecuador recently requested diplomatic status for Mr. Assange here in the UK. The UK did not grant that request, nor are we in talks with Ecuador on this matter” He went further ahead to suggest that ”Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice.”
These ID cards are issued for people claiming residency status by the Ecuador government. They call them ”cedulas”.
Going by the Vienna Convention, holders of diplomatic passports have diplomatic immunity from prosecution. There are no guarantees the UK government which has spent millions of pound in surveillance of the Ecuador embassy in London, will not arrest Julian Assange should he walk out waving his new passport in hand.
Having been accused of sexual assault in Sweden, Julian Assange fearing arrest and extradition to the US for publishing thousands of secret documents leaked through Wikileaks sought safety at the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012. Though Swedish prosecutors have dropped all charges for alleged sexual impropriety, the British police have no stop keeping watch over the embassy.
BaretaNews Foreign Correspondent/Analyst