WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been given Ecuadorian citizenship
Look, he wasn't going home so they had to do something.
After more than five years of being cooped up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been granted citizenship.
Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa said officials accepted Assange's request for naturalisation on 12 December, while adding that they will continue to look for a long-term solution to the situation.
“What naturalisation does is provide the asylum seeker another layer of protection,” Espinosa said, as reported in the Associated Press.
Assange was originally given asylum in the official embassy during 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over a series of sexual assault allegations, which he has continued to deny. Sweden has since dropped the charges. However, Assange remained holed up in the embassy, claiming that he could be arrested in Britain for skipping bail, while also fearing extradition to the US for leaking a series of classified State Department documents.
Assange made the announcement by posting a picture of himself in the Ecuadorian national football team jersey to Twitter and Instagram.
— Defend Assange Campaign (@DefendAssange) January 10, 2018
This does not mean that he is fully in the clear. Assange is still required to notify British authorities of any intentions to exit the embassy. Espinosa has said that Ecuador is attempting to make Assange a part of its diplomatic team, which would grant him special legal immunity and safe passage.
The British Foreign Office however, has rejected this idea, with an official telling AP the only resolution is for the Australian "to leave the embassy and face justice."
Looks like the world's greatest sleepover isn't ending just yet.