Assange loses Ecuadorian citizenship

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has had his Ecuadorian citizenship revoked by a court in Quito.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has had his Ecuadorian citizenship revoked by a court in Quito.

A court has revoked Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's Ecuadorian citizenship.

Administrative errors were made when citizenship was granted to Australian-born Assange in 2017, newspaper El Comercio reported on Tuesday, citing an administrative court in Ecuador's capital Quito.

Assange remains detained in London's high-security Belmarsh prison. The United States is seeking his extradition.

He has been accused of conspiring with former US military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak a trove of classified material in 2010.

The secret documents relating to the military engagement of Allied forces in Afghanistan were released on Wikileaks while Assange also collaborated with journalists at prominent news outlets.

A total of 18 charges have been lodged by Washington, which argues he put the lives of US informants at risk. If found guilty, Assange could be jailed in the US for 175 years.

His supporters and press freedom groups view him as an investigative reporter who has brought war crimes to light.

Assange fled to Ecuador's embassy in London in 2012 to avoid extradition. He was granted asylum there and later gained citizenship.

At the time, Ecuador's government planned to grant Assange diplomatic status, which would allow him to safely leave the embassy.

However, tensions later flared between Quito and Assange.

The Ecuadorian government revoked his asylum status in 2019 and Assange was detained by British police for violating bail conditions.

Australian Associated Press