Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy

Why did Julian go to the Ecuadorian embassy in London?

Julian sought protection from Ecuador out of concern he would be extradited to the U.S.   In 2010, just weeks after WikiLeaks published classified material about U.S. military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, two women in Sweden alleged they had engaged in consensual sexual activity with Julian but that their encounters went beyond the scope of their consent. Swedish authorities sought to extradite Julian to question him in the matter.   Julian disputed the allegations and cooperated with investigators, but was unwilling to be extradited to Sweden due to fears he would then be extradited to the U.S. Those fears turned out to be justified — in 2018, a U.S. prosecutor accidentally revealed a secret indictment against Julian.    After trying to dispute the Swedish allegations within the U.K. justice system for almost two years, Julian sought asylum from the Ecuadorian government.

What did the Ecuadorian government do to help Julian? Why did they help him?

In appreciation for Julian’s journalistic work and out of concern that he would be targeted by the U.S. government, the Ecuadorian government under President Rafael Correa provided Julian with asylum and protection from 2012-2019. During this time, Julian lived in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. In 2018, Julian was granted Ecuadorian citizenship.

Why did Julian leave the Embassy?

The new Ecuadorian government under President Lenin Moreno, seeking closer ties with the U.S., gradually increased restrictions on Julian’s journalistic activities. The Ecuadorian government ultimately caved to U.K. and U.S. pressure, allowing London police to enter the Ecuadorian embassy in London to arrest Julian.