Ecuador has confirmed that it has temporarily cut off internet access in its embassy in London to Julian Assange, the founder of the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks, over fears that he was using it to interfere in the US presidential election.
The move followed the publication of leaked emails by WikiLeaks, including some from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) released just before the party’s convention in July, and more recently a cache of emails from the account of Hillary Clinton campaign adviser John Podesta.
On Tuesday, officials released a statement saying that the government of Ecuador “respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states” and had cut off the internet access available to Assange because “in recent weeks, WikiLeaks has published a wealth of documents, impacting on the US election campaign”.
The statement also reaffirmed the asylum granted to Assange and reiterated its intention “to safeguard his life and physical integrity until he reaches a safe place”.
Foreign Affairs Ec (@MFAEcuador) Official Communiqué | Ecuador respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states ➡️https://t.co/4F7R5Iktsd pic.twitter.com/5FtbLViMEo October 18, 2016