Wikileaks founder Julian Assange could be evicted from London embassy shelter
London, Feb 27 : A lawyer representing Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said that there was a “great concern” that a new Ecuadorian President could force him out of the country’s London embassy, the media reported on Sunday.
Ecuador’s presidential race will be decided in a run-off election, to be held April 2, between ruling party candidate Lenin Moreno and opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso.
Moreno has indicated he would back Assange’s continued stay, while Lasso has indicated he would evict the Australian activist within 30 days of taking office.
“We are preparing potential legal remedies should the opposition come to power in Ecuador,” Jennifer Robinson, a member of the legal team representing Assange and Wikileaks, told NBC News.
“You don’t change asylum protections just because a change of government,” she added.
Assange was granted asylum in Ecuador in 2012, and has been sheltering in the country’s UK embassy since then, in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations of sexual assault.
The whistleblower said he fears Swedish authorities could deport him to the US, where he argues his work with Wikileaks could earn him life in prison or even the death penalty.
Robinson also expressed concerns about Assange’s wellbeing, after over four and a half years of living in the embassy.
“His health is deteriorating. It’s obviously far from ideal but given the difficult circumstances he is doing incredibly well, but the situation has to end and it is in the hands of the US administration to end that situation,” the lawyer told NBC News.