Asylum Over for Assange

Julian Assange's seven-year exile abruptly ended on April 11th.


Assange's appearance has drastically changed in his exile.

On April 11th, British officials were seen on camera extracting what seemed to be a white haired, raggedy old man from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. To some, it may have been a confusing scene, but many knew who the man was after some thought.

Seven years of self-imposed exile (and no doubt paranoia and stress) made some extreme physical changes to Julian Assange, a once clean-cut tech company founder and leader. Assange now appeared meek and gray, aged and in shock. Assange was pulled out of the Ecuadorian Embassy on extradition charges from the U.S. for conspiring to steal military secrets. According to former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, the main reason for giving Assange asylum was to ensure he would get a fair trial, which did not seem hopeful for Assange almost a decade ago.

Assange’s legal team stated, “It will be a sad day for democracy if the UK and Ecuadorean governments are willing to act as accomplices to the Trump administration’s determination to prosecute a publisher for publishing truthful information.”

For those who do not know, Julian Assange is a journalist from Australia. He is a tech programmer and the creator of WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks was created by Assange in 2006, and its main purpose was to leak information from all over the world concerning human rights violations, corruption, war crimes, and other significant information.

Assange was mostly known for releasing the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs in 2010, which were provided by U.S. military whistleblowers, such as Chelsea Manning. These stories were highly controversial and classified by the U.S. government. Thus, the Department of Justice sought to investigate WikiLeaks with the help of allied nations, such as Britain. But, Assange’s asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy stalled this for some time.

Not only is Assange being sent to the U.S. on crimes concerning military secrets, but he is also most likely going to be questioned about his involvement in releasing the Hillary Clinton emails in 2016. This is another great controversy surrounding Assange, as the release of these emails hurt Clinton’s campaign greatly. There is speculation of WikiLeaks and Assange having released these emails to aid the Trump campaign in the infamous 2016 presidential run.

The Ecuadorian Embassy also cited bad behavior from the famous refugee as the reason behind the release of Assange to British authorities. Officials from Ecuador stated that Assange had become aggressive and discourteous, and that he had even smeared his own feces across the walls of the Embassy at one point.

Assange has surely been a mysterious, odd case of a journalist, turned whistleblower, turned meddler of international affairs. It is unlikely that Assange will now be able to get out of extradition and trial in the U.S., something that he has tried to avoid for a long time. In the end, his story and strange legacy will continue to change and grow in the process of examination by the U.S. judiciary.