Five years. That’s how long it’s been since Wikileaks founder Julian Assange sought asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in the UK.
Now Ecuadorian officials have announced that Assange has been granted citizenship following a request for naturalisation in December.
Foreign minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa explained to the Associated Press that naturalisation would provide Assange with an additional layer of protection though he would still need to inform English authorities of any movement outside of the embassy.
It is also alleged that Ecuador is trying to make Assange a member of its diplomatic team which would allow him legal immunity and safe passage through the UK.
The British Foreign Office said on Thursday that it rejected Ecuador’s request to grant Assange diplomatic status in the UK.
“The U.K. did not grant that request, nor are we in talks with Ecuador on this matter. Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for Julian Assange to leave the embassy to face justice,” said the office.
So it appears as if Assange will likely still be confined to the walls of the Ecuadorian embassy in the UK, of course he could just leave and surrender to authorities.