Julian Assange cut off from internet at Ecuadorian embassy in UK

The WikiLeaks founder can't tweet anymore from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. His hosts say he broke a promise not to interfere with foreign relations.

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Laura Hautala
Julian Assange stands on the balcony in front of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in May 2017.

Julian Assange speaks to the media from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2017. Ecuador's government said in a statement Wednesday that it has cut off Assange's internet access.

Jack Taylor / Getty Images

Julian Assange can't go online, according to an announcement from the government of Ecuador

The founder of WikiLeaks and frequent Twitter user violated an agreement with the country not to interfere in its relations with other countries, the announcement says. Assange has lived in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for six years. He says he faces arrest and the possibility of extradition if he leaves the building. 

"The government of Ecuador warns that the behavior of Assange, with the messages he sends through social networks, puts at risk the good relations that the country maintains with United Kingdom, with the rest of the European Union and other nations," the statement said.

Assange has been holed up in the tiny Ecuadorian embassy in London's Knightsbridge since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over sexual assault charges, which he has denied. The investigation into his actions was dropped last year. But he remains in self-imposed exile due to fears he could still be arrested by UK police for breaching bail conditions. He claims such an arrest could be followed by extradition to the US to face espionage charges.

WikiLeaks didn't respond to a request for comment. On Twitter, one of the organization's accounts tweeted a message alerting followers that Assange had been cut off from the internet. 

Twitter users started using the hashtag #reconnectJulian to rally supporters to come to the embassy and pressure the Ecuadorian government to restore the internet connection.