Ecuador's Government says it has cut off WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's internet access at the nation's London embassy after his recent activity on social media decrying the arrest of a Catalonian separatist leader.
Ecuador granted Assange political asylum in 2012, but the anti-secrecy activist has been living in virtual captivity at its embassy in London, as the British government has refused to give him safe passage to leave the country.
Shortly afterwards, however, the WikiLeaks founder had his outside communications switched off by the government of Ecuador, which stated that it was done "due to Assange not complying with a written promise which he made with the government in late 2017, by which he was obliged not to send messages which entailed interference in relations with other states". He tweeted again five minutes later before his feed went silent.
The founder of WikiLeaks and frequent Twitter user violated an agreement with the country not to interfere in its relations with other countries, the announcement says. The initiative is being led by Suzie Dawson, leader of the New Zealand Internet Party, and entrepreneur Kim Dotcom.
Assange moved into the embassy in June 2012 in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations of sex crimes, which he denies.More news: Who Do Ya'll Think Bit Beyoncé?
In another tweetstorm on Tuesday, Assange attacked the arrest in Germany of former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont under an European Union warrant issued by Spain over Puigdemont's failed bid a year ago to declare independence for his Spanish region.
Assange used social media on Monday to criticize the United Kingdom government's decision to expel Russian diplomats after London accused Moscow of involvement in the poisoning Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy residing in the United Kingdom, and his daughter. He has hidden away claiming he could be extradited to the USA to face charges over WikiLeaks revelations, but he is also wanted by British police for skipping bail. So why is there a warrant for my arrest?' he questioned.
British police ended their permanent guard on the embassy in October 2015 but said they would maintain "covert tactics" to arrest Assange if he left.
In May 2017, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno asked Assange to refrain from expressing his public support for the independence campaign in Spain's Catalonia region after he tweeted that Madrid was guilty of "repression".
It was clear that Assange's comments angered British Foreign Office Minister Alan Duncan, who described him as a "miserable little worm" during a debate in Parliament on Tuesday.