The governments of the US and Ecuador have denied that they conspired to silence Julian Assange, after the WikiLeaks founder’s internet access was cut off at his London embassy home to stop him releasing damaging information about Hillary Clinton’s US election campaign.
Ecuador confirmed late on Tuesday that it had intervened at the weekend to temporarily restrict Assange’s internet access, pointing to a “wealth” of WikiLeaks publications “impacting on the US election campaign” as the reason. WikiLeaks has released successive dumps of damaging material over recent months from inside the Democratic party and the Clinton campaign, which the US government has blamed on Russian state hacking.
“The government of Ecuador respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states,” Ecuador’s foreign ministry said in a statement. “It does not interfere in external electoral processes, nor does it favour any particular candidate.”
The statement, in which Ecuador stressed that it “does not yield to pressure from other states”, followed claims by WikiLeaks that John Kerry, the US secretary of state, had requested a private meeting with Ecuador last month – during a visit to Colombia to show support for a peace deal with leftwing rebels – specifically to ask the country to block Assange…
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