WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was denied a request to have his arrest warrant dropped on Tuesday. UK Judge Emma Arbuthnot ruled that the argument for discarding the warrant wan’t persuasive enough.
Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 out of fear that he would be extradited to Sweden, where there was an investigation against him for rape until it was dropped last year after investigators pursued all leads and found themselves at a dead end.
Despite that investigation being dropped, however, the UK arrest warrant for Assange was issued in 2012 after he jumped bail.
His defense stated that he “has spent five and a half years in conditions which, on any view, are akin to imprisonment, without access to adequate medical care or sunlight, in circumstances where his physical and psychological health have deteriorated and are in serious peril.”
Ecuador granted Assange citizenship last month after determining that his continued living arrangement at the embassy was unsustainable. However, with the arrest warrant upheld, Assange can’t step onto the streets of London without risking arrest.
The thousands of hacked Democratic National Committee emails WikiLeaks published during the 2016 election is widely acknowledged to have been beneficial for Trump’s campaign. In addition to once fearing he would be extradited by Sweden, Assange had (and probably still has) the same fear with the United States.
Image: Democracy Now!