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Ecuador Revokes Julian Assange's Citizenship

Wikileaks founder's lawyer pledges to appeal
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 28, 2021 12:11 AM CDT
Julian Assange's Ecuadorian Citizenship Revoked
In this Friday May 19, 2017 file photo, Julian Assange greets supporters outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.   (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

(Newser) – Ecuador has revoked the citizenship of Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks who is currently in a British prison. Ecuador’s justice system formally notified the Australian of the nullity of his naturalization in a letter that came in response to a claim filed by the South American country’s Foreign Ministry, the AP reports. A naturalization is considered damaging when it is granted based on the concealment of relevant facts, false documents, or fraud. Ecuadorian authorities say Assange’s naturalization letter had multiple inconsistencies, different signatures, the possible alteration of documents and unpaid fees, among other issues. Carlos Poveda, Assange’s lawyer, told the AP the decision was made without due process and Assange was not allowed to appear in the case.

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"On the date (Assange) was cited he was deprived of his liberty and with a health crisis inside the deprivation of liberty center where he was being held,” Poveda said. Poveda said he will file appeals asking for an amplification and clarification of the decision. “More than the importance of nationality, it is a matter of respecting rights and following due process in withdrawing nationality.” Assange received Ecuadorian citizenship in January 2018 as part of a failed attempt by the government of then-President Lenín Moreno to turn him into a diplomat to get him out of its embassy in London, where he spent seven years to avoid extradition to Sweden in a sex crimes case that's since been dropped. On Monday, the Pichincha Court for Contentious Administrative Matters revoked this decision.

(Read more Julian Assange stories.)

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