Ecuador tried to make Julian Assange a diplomat

It didn’t work, but he got a nice shirt for becoming a citizen

By Simon Sharwood, APAC Editor

Posted in Policy, 12th January 2018 02:58 GMT

Ecuador granted citizenship to Julian Assange and tried to register him as a diplomat in order to secure his release from the nation’s London embassy.

The first part of Ecuador’s plan worked: Assange won his citizenship and donned the Ecuadorian national football team’s shirt to prove it.

But when Ecuador asked the UK to register Assange as a diplomat, an act that would have made him immune to some laws, British authorities quickly saw through the ploy and denied the request.

Assange applied for citizenship on September 16th, 2017, and was granted it on December 12th in the same year. Four days later, Ecuador applied to register him as a diplomat. A rebuff apparently came within hours.

Ecuador and the UK have since traded statements. Ecuador’s said it wants an end to Assange’s epic couch-surfing effort. The UK’s said the way to do so is the have Assange hand himself in to face bail-jumping charges.

Assange has repeatedly said he won’t do that, because he fears extradition to the USA. Jeff Sessions, the USA’s attorney-general, has made it abundantly clear that the book will be hurled, with extreme prejudice, directly at the leaker-in-chief. ®

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