On Wednesday, Julian Assange tweeted a photo of himself wearing an Ecuadorian soccer jersey amid reports that he was granted a passport from the nation on December 21.
— Defend Assange Campaign (@DefendAssange) January 10, 2018
The WikiLeaks founder is listed with Ecuador’s Internal Revenue Service under the number 1729926483 as Julian Paul Assange — which would mean that he has been granted citizenship by the nation that has been providing his political asylum.
The news comes one day after it was announced that Ecuador was seeking mediation to figure out a way to get Assange out of the embassy. The sentiment was echoed in another statement issued by the government on Wednesday.
Assange’s Australian passport was previously taken by British police. When he contacted his home nation about obtaining a new one they told him that it could only be given to him if he traveled to Australia to get it — which he was obviously unable to do.
The portrait was the first thing that Assange has tweeted from his personal Twitter account since a cryptic hash on New Year’s Day that was accompanied by the M.I.A. song Paper Planes.
Rumors and speculation from conspiracy theorists have been swirling since the tweet, including people falsely claiming that Assange has left the embassy.
A WikiLeaks legal source close to the publisher told the Gateway Pundit on Tuesday morning that not only are these claims false, the political persecution of WikiLeaks has ramped up substantially.
“It’s false and the actions of the US State Department, Department of Justice and the CIA against WikiLeaks have substantially increased, not decreased, in recent weeks,” the source told Gateway Pundit.
Assange entered the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on June 19, 2012, where he applied and was granted political asylum. Since that time, the building has been encircled by police waiting on standby to arrest him. Many fear that should he be arrested in London, he would be extradited to the United States where he would face harsh penalties for practicing journalism.
In 2016, after 16 months of investigation, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) concluded that Julian Assange is the victim of arbitrary detention. Not only did the group, made up of lawyers and human rights professionals, release an opinion that Assange should be released, they reported that he should be compensated by the governments of Sweden and the United Kingdom for “deprivation of liberty.”