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After Assange’s Arrest, Ecuador’s Creep Towards Authoritarianism Becomes a Sprint

Ecuador | Protest

After Assange’s Arrest, Ecuador’s Creep Towards Authoritarianism Becomes a Sprint

The recent violation of Assange’s rights as both political asylee and citizen of Ecuador sends a chilling message to Ecuadorians who are being increasingly targeted for their political views both within Ecuador and abroad.

QUITO, ECUADOR — Last week, Ecuador’s government gravely undermined not only its own national sovereignty but international refugee and asylum laws by allowing U.K. police into its London embassy to arrest then-Ecuadorian citizen, Ecuadorian asylee, and journalist Julian Assange. 

As has been observed by many analysts, the shocking yet somewhat anticipated decision has shown that Ecuador’s government — led by Lenín Moreno — is willing to play fast and loose with its domestic laws, as well as international law, if it stands to benefit Moreno and his increasingly unpopular administration, whose approval rating now hovers at around 30 percent

In the hours that followed Assange’s disturbing arrest, which saw him dragged from the embassy by British police, Ecuador’s government has wasted no time in taking actions that are not only highly troubling but show Moreno’s willingness to embrace fascist tactics in his desperate bid to silence dissent. 

Indeed, a key factor in Moreno’s decision to revoke Assange’s asylum and Ecuadorian citizenship, was alleged to be Moreno’s rage at WikiLeaks — the organization Assange founded but no longer runs — for simply retweeting and spreading information regarding the burgeoning INA Papers corruption scandal, which centers around an offshore bank account in Panama linked to Moreno and his family. Notably, the firestorm of media coverage around Assange’s violent removal from the embassy has distracted from the media coverage of the scandal.

The witch hunt begins

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