Ex-Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has told Sputnik that the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was yet another example of double standards because while Assange was accused of leaking classified data, no one was talking about legal charges against major media outlets who published that very information.
“There are horrible double standards… Assange obtained the information but it was the New York Times and El Pais that published it, so if the presumed crime constitutes spreading classified information, why not pick on these media? Because they want… to break the weakest link in the chain, which is Julian Assange himself”, the former president said.
On Thursday, Assange was arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he had been residing since 2012 as a political asylee. His arrest was made at the request of the US after Assange’s asylum was revoked earlier this week.
The whistleblower has been taking refuge in the embassy in order to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faced a probe over allegations of sexual offences. Assange denied those allegations and called them politically motivated. Despite the fact that Stockholm dropped the investigation in 2017, he was still wanted for breaking conditions of his bail in the UK.
The WikiLeaks founder, who has become famous for leaking classified US government data, now faces extradition to the United States on computer hacking charges and could get up to five years in jail. The United States now has until 12 June to provide UK authorities with all the necessary documents for Assange’s extradition. The next hearing in Assange’s case is set to take place on 2 May.