Ecuador grants citizenship to WikiLeaks founder (video)

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A photo posted on Twitter of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange wearing the home jersey of the Ecuadorian Football League was his way of announcing that he has been granted citizenship by Ecuador.

The news comes after efforts to arrange for him to safely exit the nation’s embassy in London failed after the United Kingdom denied a request from the Ecuadorian government to give the man diplomatic status.

Ecuador’s foreign minister on Thursday said that authorities agreed to naturalize Assange, an Australian citizen, as Quito works to resolve the international impasse that made him a resident of its embassy since 2012, The Associated Press reported.

Assange, 46, entered the Ecuadorean Embassy in 2012 to avoid answering to Swedish authorities wishing to question him over allegations of sexual assault. He received political asylum in August 2012, and Stockholm prosecutors dropped their investigation in 2017.

However, the WikiLeaks founder still risks arrest if he leaves the embassy, because British authorities argue that he broke the law by entering the embassy in violation of previously imposed bail conditions connected to the Swedish probe.

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