Today was not a good morning for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The country of Ecuador has officially ended Assange’s seven-year asylum in its British embassy. Shortly after his asylum ended, British police arrested Assange inside the embassy for his failure to comply with an order of extradition to Sweden regarding a sexual assault case. He now faces the possibility of being extradited to the US due to his role on the leaking of confidential military footage by Chelsea Manning.
Julian Assange is a controversial and polarizing figure. His website, WikiLeaks, is a portal where journalist and whistle blowers can publish their work without fear of persecution or backlash. However, there are suspicions that WikiLeaks is involved with state-actors and releases materials based on a geopolitical agenda. Depending who you ask, he could be hailed as a champion of the free press or a disruptor of governments.
One thing is for sure, there is no love lost between the Ecuadorian president Lenin Moreno and Assange. Assange is not precisely the best person to have as a guest for an extended sleepover. His stay in the Ecuadorian embassy is riddled with stories of his erratic behaviour, poor hygiene, and belligerent attitude towards staff. The straw that broke the Ecuadorian president’s back was when Assange leaked private data and images on Moreno. The president stated he ended the asylum of “this spoiled brat” and that the country will be more careful on who they give asylum to in the future.