The rumors last week were correct. Julian Assange has been expelled from the Ecuadorian embassy and arrested by the UK police:
Julian Assange has been arrested by British police today after Ecuador withdrew his political asylum seven years after he was given refuge by the country. The Wikileaks founder was dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in handcuffs by a large group of seven Metropolitan Police officers as stunned supporters and protesters watched on in central London.
He is currently in police custody and is set to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court ‘as soon as possible’.
Ecuador’s president Lenin Moreno said the decision to withdraw Assange’s asylum status came after the ‘repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life protocols’ and his ‘discourteous and aggressive behaviour’. Moreno added that he had asked Britain to guarantee that Assange would not be extradited to a country where he could face torture or the death penalty.
Moments after the arrest, during which Assange held on to a Gore Vidal book on the history of the national security state, WikiLeaks said Ecuador had acted illegally and ‘in violation of international law’. Assange, 47, has not left Ecuador’s diplomatic soil for seven years amid fears he would be arrested and extradited for publishing thousands of classified military and diplomatic cables.
Obviously Ecuador has the right to expel anyone it wants from its embassy. But why now? And what UK law has Assange violated to justify his arrest?