Ecuador: We Cut Off Assange’s Internet Access Over Interference In US Election

Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

Ecuador’s government on Tuesday acknowledged cutting off Internet access for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the London embassy where he resides over his group’s ongoing release of emails hacked from Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

The foreign ministry said in a statement obtained by Politico that though it affirmed its decision to grant Assange asylum at the embassy in 2012, it cannot condone WikiLeaks’ intentional efforts to interfere in the United States’ presidential election.

“Ecuador has exercised its sovereign right to temporarily restrict access to some of its private communications network within its Embassy in the United Kingdom,” the statement reads. “This temporary restriction does not prevent the WikiLeaks organization from carrying out its journalistic activities.”

WikiLeaks announced on Twitter on Tuesday that Assange’s Internet access was cut off over the weekend after the group published transcripts of Clinton’s speeches to Goldman Sachs, claiming that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry personally made the request of Ecuador’s President, Rafael Correa.

Ecuador’s foreign ministry notes in its statement that the country “does not yield to pressure from other states,” while U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby told the Associated Press that no such conversation occurred.

The group has continued to leak documents since Assange’s access was cut, most recently releasing more emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

Read the Ecuadorian government’s full statement below via Politico’s Eric Geller: