Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange has been arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
The 47-year-old had took refuge in the embassy in 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden over a sexual assault case which has since been dropped.
The Metropolitan Police said he was arrested for failing to surrender to the court.
Ecuador’s president Lenin Moreno said it withdrew Assange’s asylum after his repeated violations to international conventions. In a tweet, Wikileaks claimed Moreno had invited British police into the building to arrest Assange, saying Ecuador had acted illegally in terminating Assange’s political asylum “in violation of international law”.
Julian Assange did not “walk out of the embassy”. The Ecuadorian ambassador invited British police into the embassy and he was immediately arrested.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) April 11, 2019
British Home Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed in a tweet, that “Julian Assange is now in police custody and rightly facing justice in the UK.
Nearly 7yrs after entering the Ecuadorean Embassy, I can confirm Julian Assange is now in police custody and rightly facing justice in the UK. I would like to thank Ecuador for its cooperation & @metpoliceuk for its professionalism. No one is above the law
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) April 11, 2019
“I would like to thank Ecuador for its cooperation & metpoliceuk for its professionalism. No one is above the law.”
Russia on Thursday slammed Assange’s detention as a move against democratic freedoms. “The hand of ‘democracy’ is strangling freedom,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Facebook. According to an AFP report, former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa labelled Moreno as ‘traitor’ following the arrest.