The government of Ecuador disconnected the internet access of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at its Embassy in London because of his site’s publishing of documents that could affect the US presidential election, the government said in a statement today.
WikiLeaks announced early on Monday that Assange’s internet link had been severed, saying that it had “activated the appropriate contingency plans.”
In that statement, shared by Politico reporter Eric Geller, the Ecuadorian government says it “respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states” and that it “exercised its sovereign right to temporarily restrict access to some of its private communications network within its Embassy in the United Kingdom.”
BREAKING: Ecuador admits it cut off Assange's internet due to his use of it to interfere in the U.S. election. pic.twitter.com/VNJ6sdHhHj— Eric Geller (@ericgeller) October 18, 2016
Ecuador also said it “does not yield to pressure from other states,” likely a response to allegations from WikiLeaks that US Secretary of State John Kerry pressured Ecuador to cut Assange’s internet access, something the Department of State denied.
The statement says Assange retains his asylum, with Ecuador reiterating “its intention to safeguard his life and physical integrity until he reaches a safe place.”