Timeline: Julian Assange’s Expulsion & Arrest

7 June 2019 — Defend Wikileaks

Read the PDF version here

March 2017

7 March 2017 — WikiLeaks releases Vault 7, exposing CIA hacking tools

Largest leak of confidential CIA documents in history, details the agency’s cyber warfare capabilities

April 2017

2 April 2017 — Lenín Moreno wins runoff election to become President of Ecuador, succeeding Rafael Correa

Correa, who granted Assange asylum in 2012, called the revoking of Assange’s asylum and subsequent arrest in April 2019 “one of the greatest betrayals in Latin American history”

13 April 2017 — CIA Director Mike Pompeo calls WikiLeaks a ‘non-state hostile intelligence service’

May 2017

9 May 2017— Paul Manafort flies to Ecuador to broker deals with incoming president Moreno

“In at least two meetings with Mr. Manafort, Mr. Moreno and his aides discussed their desire to rid themselves of Mr. Assange…in exchange for concessions like debt relief from the United States”

24 May 2017 — Moreno assumes office as President of Ecuador

February 2018

27 February 2018 — US Government officials meet with President Lenín Moreno

March 2018

26 March 2018 — High-profile US SOUTHCOM officials meet with Ecuadorean Minister of Defense Patricio Zambrano to exchange ideas & reiterate U.S. commitment to the longstanding partnership

27 March 2018 — Ecuador suspends Julian Assange’s internet access, denies visitors

  • 4 signal jammers installed to continuously block telephone coverage and WiFi signal
  • Assange prevented from accessing embassy’s landline telephone network
  • Ecuador banned visits to further isolate Assange, including lawyers
  • Ecuadorian government says that the isolation is the result of Assange breaking a late 2017 agreement “not to issue messages that supposed an interference in relation to other States.”
  • These measures, imposing total isolation, severely aggravated the negative effects on Mr. Assange’s physical and mental health

28 March 2018 — Ecuador resumes negotiations with the US on a long-postponed free trade deal

May 2018

16 May 2018 — Revealed: Ecuador conducts espionage operation on Assange in the embassy

  • Ecuador contracts specialized security services to spy on Assange, reporting back to Ecuador and to United States authorities
  • Press publishes images and personal information of Assange’s collected inside the embassy

June 2018

27 June 2018 — 10 US Senators urge Vice President Mike Pence to raise concerns about Assange with Ecuador’s new president Lenín Moreno

“it is imperative that you raise U.S. concerns with President Moreno about Ecuador’s continued support for Mr. Assange at a time when WikiLeaks continues its efforts to undermine democratic processes globally”

28 June 2018 — Pence confirms he did press Moreno over Assange’s asylum

“The vice president raised the issue of Mr. Assange. It was a constructive conversation. They agreed to remain in close coordination on potential next steps going forward,” a White House official said in a statement.

July 2018

13 July 2018 — The Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR) issues ruling imposing obligations on Ecuador to protect Julian Assange from US extradition

The ruling includes a mandatory safe process, and the obligation of states to provide safe passage to those granted asylum.

15 July 2018 — Ecuador in talks to evict Julian Assange, its ‘stone in the shoe’

“Sir Alan Duncan, the Foreign Office minister, is understood to be involved in the diplomatic effort, which comes weeks before a visit to the UK by Lenin Moreno, the new Ecuadorean president, who has called Assange a ‘hacker’, an ‘inherited problem’ and a ‘stone in the shoe’.”

21 July 2018 — Ecuador confirms it will imminently withdraw asylum for Julian Assange and hand him over to the U.K

Lenín Moreno travels to London “to meet with British officials to finalize an agreement under which Ecuador will withdraw its asylum protection of Julian Assange”

August 2018

24 August 2018 — Ecuador informs Assange’s legal defence that it will no longer oppose his eventual extradition to the United States

“The State of Ecuador believes that at this point, regarding the best interests and the well-being of Mr. Assange, the best alternative for him is to appear before the courts of justice of the United Kingdom”

September 2018

20 September 2018 — US congressmen travel to Quito to press for Ecuador to withdraw Assange’s nationality

[US] Senator Norma Torres asked that Assange no longer have Ecuadorian citizenship. “This is an important issue for the United States,” she added.

October 2018

11 October 2018 — Ecuador imposes “special protocol,” tight restrictions carrying threat of expulsion

  • So-called protocol, issued without explanation of its legal authority, imposes a tough and restrictive regime on communications and visits, as well as denigrating and senseless ultimatums
  • Throughout the protocol the government systematically invokes clauses announcing that failure to comply with the protocol shall entail the end of Mr. Assange’s asylum and his expulsion from the embassy
  • The Protocol disregards a fundamental principle of asylum, which is that the protection only ceases when the risk in relation to which the asylum was granted comes to an end

16 October 2018 — US House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee writes to Pres. Lenín Moreno

“Many of us in the United States Congress are eager to move forward in collaborating with your government on a wide array of issues […] However, in order to advance on these crucial matters, we must first resolve a significant challenge created by your predecessor, Rafael Correa – the status of Julian Assange […] We are very concerned with Julian Assange’s continued presence at your embassy in London and his receipt of Ecuadorian citizenship last year. Most recently, we were particularly disturbed to learn that your government restored Mr. Assange’s access to the Internet […] It is clear that Mr. Assange remains a dangerous criminal and a threat to global security, and he should be brought to justice. […] We are hopeful about developing warmer relations with your government, but feel that it will be very difficult for the United States to advance our bilateral relationship until Mr. Assange is handed over to the proper authorities”

25, 27 October 2018 — Assange applies for Protection Action: 

Judge refused to rule on the constitutionality of the Ecuador’s actions against Assange, saying it was a matter for the Constitutional Court, and declined to hear witnesses or accept evidence documenting the embassy’s visitor ban

November 2018

16 November 2018 — Secret charges against Assange revealed

27 November 2018 — The Guardian publishes fabricated claim that Paul Manafort visited Assange in the Embassy in 2016

  • WikiLeaks & Manafort both refute the claim, and Former Consul to Ecuador Fidel Narváez calls it “entirely false
  • Other news outlets attempted to corroborate the story, and couldn’t
  • The Guardian refused to answer any questions about its sourcing or present any evidence

December 2018

3 December 2018 — Revealed: The Guardian concealed third author of Manafort-Assange fabrication, Fernando Villavicencio

Villavicencio, the CIA-connected advisor previously thought to potentially be The Guardian‘s source for the story, is actually listed on the article’s print edition byline.

11 December 2018 — 6 US Congressmen publish letter to Sec. Mike Pompeo concerning his 26 November meeting with Foreign Minister of Ecuador, specifically referencing Manafort allegation

The letter expresses that it is “imperative” that Mr. Assange’s presence in the embassy “be resolve swiftly” and expresses an expectation that the Secretary of State “will remain in close contact with Foreign Minister Valencia” in relation to Mr. Assange

21 December 2018 — UN Expert on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders urges the UK to honour the UNWGAD’s 2015 decision calling for Assange’s release and compensation

“The Swedish investigations have been closed for over 18 months now, and the only ground remaining for Mr. Assange’s continued deprivation of liberty is a bail violation in the UK, which is, objectively, a minor offense that cannot post facto justify the more than 6 years confinement that he has been subjected to since he sought asylum in the Embassy of Ecuador. Mr. Assange should be able to exercise his right to freedom of movement in an unhindered manner, in accordance with the human rights conventions the UK has ratified,” the experts further said.

January 2019

17-20 January 2019 — US interrogates Ecuadorian diplomats, obtains documents, on pretext of fabricated Manafort-Assange meeting

  • US authorities requested electronic records, the visitor log book, identity documents of persons visiting Mr. Assange, audio-visual material, and reports about Mr. Assange and his visitors that are in possession of Ecuadorian authorities

23 January 2019 — Assange’s legal team files application urging IACHR to force US to reveal charges and to compel Ecuador to prevent extradition to the US

February 2019

20 February 2019 — Ecuador inks $4.2 billion financing deal with IMF

28 February 2019 — Chelsea Manning reveals subpoena to testify to WikiLeaks grand jury

28 February 2019 — Ecuadorian FM Jose Valencia on “resolving” Assange’s situation:

“We hope that the Assange case will be resolved as soon as possible, we’ve now had 7 years with Mr. Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy, the Ecuadorian State has done its part in complying with international law.”

March 2019

8 March 2019 — Chelsea Manning imprisoned for refusing to testify in WikiLeaks grand jury investigation

13 March 2019 — IACHR instructs Ecuador that it has an obligation not to expel Julian Assange, directly or indirectly, to the United States

14 March 2019 — Met Police admits it collaborated with US prosecutors since at least 2013 in WikiLeaks investigation

April 2019

3 April 2019 — Ecuador twists embarrassing INA Papers into pretext to oust Assange

  • INA Papers, published in February 2019, reveal corruption of Moreno government & family
  • Moreno erroneously claims WikiLeaks is responsible for the release, alleges Assange is “hacker” for former President Correa
  • Moreno uses this false pretext to claim that Assange has “violated the ‘conditions’ of his asylum”

4 April 2019 — Ecuador source tells WikiLeaks that Assange will be expelled within “hours to days,” using #INAPapers as a pretext, and that it already has an agreement with the UK for his arrest

5 April 2019 — UN torture expert Nils Melzner urges Ecuador not to expel Assange from embassy

5 April 2019 — UN privacy expert announces plan to visit Assange in the Embassy on 25 April 2019

10 April 2019 — WikiLeaks uncovers spying operation on Assange

Wikileaks reveals a surveillance trove including thousands of photos, videos and audio recordings of Julian Assange, creating a “Truman Show existence” designed to support the effort to oust the asylee. The material includes recordings of privileged legal, medical, and personal communications in a startling invasion of Assange’s privacy.

11 April 2019 — Julian Assange arrested

  • Ecuador illegally terminates Assange’s political asylum
  • Ecuadorian Ambassador invites British police into the Embassy and Assange is immediately arrested
  • Lawyers confirm Assange arrested not just for breach of bail conditions but also in relation to a US extradition request
  • Indictment unsealed
    • “the United States has charged WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with one count of conspiracy to hack a computer related to his role in the 2010 release of reams of secret American documents, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday just hours after British authorities arrested him in London.”
  • Civil liberties, press freedom, and human rights groups speak out against Assange’s extradition to the United States
    • Massimo Moratti, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Research in Europe: “Amnesty International calls on the UK to refuse to extradite or send in any other manner Julian Assange to the USA where there is a very real risk that he could face human rights violations, including detention conditions that would violate the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment and an unfair trial followed by possible execution, due to his work with Wikileaks.”
    • Reporters without Borders Secretary-General Christophe Deloire: “Targeting Assange after nearly nine years because of Wikileaks’ provision of information to journalists that was in the public interest (such as the leaked US diplomatic cables) would be a purely punitive measure and would set a dangerous precedent for journalists, whistleblowers, and other journalistic sources that the US may wish to pursue in the future. The UK must stick to a principled stance with any related requests from the US to extradite Assange, and ensure his protection under UK and European law relevant to his contributions to journalism”
    • American Civil Liberties Union’s Ben Wizner: “Criminally prosecuting a publisher for the publication of truthful information would be a first in American history, and unconstitutional.”
    • Robert Mahoney, deputy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists: The potential implications for press freedom of this allegation of conspiracy between publisher and source are deeply troubling”

13 April 2019 — Argentina’s University of La Plata journalism faculty awards Assange with Doctor Honoris Causa degree

13 April 2019 — Revista Proceso reports: UK, US, Ecuador met in secret to discuss ending Assange’s asylum

“High-level diplomats from Great Britain, Ecuador and the United Staters negotiated a secret agreement during a period of 10 months to arrest the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, in a police operation in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.”

15 April 2019 — Unsealed: FBI Agent’s Affidavit in Support of Assange Arrest

Using language derived from the Espionage Act, which has been wielded by the Justice Department to aggressively crack down on whistleblowers, [FBI Special Agent Megan] Brown contended, “Manning and Assange had reason to believe that public disclosures of the Afghanistan War reports and Iraq War reports would cause injury to the United States.”

15 April 2019 — Doctor Who Evaluated Julian Assange Told UN His Confinement Was Torture

16 April 2019 — Assange awarded GUE/NGL prize for Journalists, Whistleblowers and Defenders of the Right to Information

  • Courage nominated Assange for the award in March
  • Video: Nobel Peace Prize winner, Mairead Maguire, accepts GUE/NGL Prize on behalf of Julian Assange

May 2019

3 May 2019 — United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention expresses concern about Assange proceedings

4 May 2019 — Man accused of trying to sell info on Julian Assange questioned in Spain

13 May 2019 — Ecuador intends to give all of Assange’s possessions from Embassy to the United States

“documents, mobile phones, computers and files, memory sticks and all other devices, including communications with lawyers and legal documents”

13 May 2019 — Sweden reopens investigation into Julian Assange, seeks to extradite

16 May 2019 — US and Ecuador sign new agreement after Assange expelled

Now that Ecuador has expelled Julian Assange from its embassy in London, the Trump administration is opening a “new chapter of cooperation” with the South American government.

18 May 2019 — Julian Assange awarded the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism

20 May 2019 — Ecuador hands over Assange’s entire legal defense to the United States

  • Neither Julian Assange nor U.N. officials have been permitted to be present
  • The material includes two of his manuscripts, as well as his legal papers, medical records and electronic equipment. The seizure of his belongings violates laws that protect medical and legal confidentiality and press protections.

23 May 2019 — Julian Assange charged under 17 Espionage Act counts in superseding indictment

  • Free press orgs, newspapers, and rights organisations across the board issue statements opposing Assange’s extradition to US
    • New York Times Editorial Board: Julian Assange’s Indictment Aims at the Heart of the First Amendment
    • The New Yorker: Charging Julian Assange Under the Espionage Act Is an Attack on the First Amendment
    • PEN International: Julian Assange should not be extradited to the United States
    • Freedom of the Press Foundation: “these unprecedented charges against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks are the most significant and terrifying threat to the First Amendment in the 21st century”

24 May 2019 — UN expert in privacy seriously concerned about the behavior of Ecuador in the Assange and Moreno cases

31 May 2019 — UN Torture Expert: “collective persecution” of Julian Assange must end now

In a scathing condemnation of the “deliberate and concerted abuse inflicted for years” on Julian Assange, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzner called on the UK government not to extradite him to the United States, where Melzner fears Assange “would be exposed to a real risk of serious violations of his human rights.”

June 2019

3 June 2019 — Swedish Swedish court blocks Swedish extradition from UK for time being, rejectsprosecutor’s detention request for Julian Assange

7 June 2019 — Dutch state broadcaster reveals: DoJ Preparing to File Additional Indictment against Assange Based on Testimony by Convicted Conman

  • FBI informant Sigurdur Thordarson was flown to the United States last week where he was “comprehensively interrogated.”
  • WikiLeaks: “While the case would collapse in the U.S. due to the prosecution’s reliance on testimony by Thordarson and Monsegur, who are not credible witnesses, the United States can conceal their witnesses’ identities during UK extradition proceedings in order to boost their chances of winning. This will make it impossible for Assange to challenge the credibility of the witnesses during UK extradition proceedings, which will commence on 14 June.”

14 June 2019 — US Extradition hearing and deadline for US extradition request

One thought on “Timeline: Julian Assange’s Expulsion & Arrest

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