The Ecuador Embassy in London has disabled Julian Assange’s outside communications, officials have confirmed.
The Embassy announced on Wednesday they were taking the measure in response to the WikiLeaks founder’s recent activity on social media.
Assange has been living inside the Embassy in the UK capital since June 2012, when he entered the building to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning about allegations of sex crimes, which he has always denied.
Officials previously cut off his internet access in 2016 and tweeted confirmation his internet connection has been disabled again.
As part of an agreement between Assange and the Ecuadorean government, he is not permitted to send any messages that could interfere with the South American nation’s relations with other countries.
Ecuador gave him asylum after he sought refuge in the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden for investigation of sex-related claims.
Sweden dropped the case, but Mr Assange remains subject to arrest in Britain for jumping bail.
Kim Dotcom, a former owner of file-sharing company Megaupload, had earlier suggested the WikiLeaks founder’s communications had been suspended, and urged Assange’s supporters to gather outside the Embassy.
Former Greek minister Yanis Varoufakis and musician Brian Eno said in a statement they had heard “with great concern” about the lost internet access and ban on visitors.
“Only extraordinary pressure from the US and the Spanish governments can explain why Ecuador’s authorities should have taken such appalling steps in isolating Julian,” they said.
They added that the Ecuador government had only recently granted Mr Assange citizenship, saying it must have been “leaned on mercilessly” to stop attempting to provide a diplomatic route to safety and even drive the WikiLeaks founder out of the embassy.
“Clearly, Ecuador’s government has been subjected to bullying over its decision to grant Julian asylum, support and ultimately, diplomatic status.”
Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan branded Assange a “miserable little worm” during a Commons debate on Tuesday, adding he should leave the Ecuadorean embassy and surrender to British justice.
Assange replied: “Britain should come clean on whether it intends to extradite me to the United States for publishing the truth and cease its ongoing violation of the UN rulings in this matter.
“If it does this disgraceful impasse can be resolved tomorrow. I have already fully served any theoretical (I haven’t been charged) “bail violation” whilst in prison and under house arrest. So why is there a warrant for my arrest?”
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