The walls are officially closing in on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. After the Ecuador government unplugged his internet, he has now been placed in what can only be described as solitary confinement: no phone calls, no visitors, no social media.
In an interview with the foreign press on Wednesday, Ecuador Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda confirmed that Assange is indeed on full lockdown while the government negotiates his fate with the U.K.
“He still has no access to the Internet and communications. There is a dialogue, there is a will and an interest to move forward in the solution of that matter,” she said, according to El Tiempo.
Strangely, Assange has received support from an interesting celebrity, to say the least: Pamela Anderson, who has now called on rapper Kanye West to spend some of that “dragon energy” on freeing Assange.
“Hi Kanye Hope you are well I was wondering about your thoughts on Julian Assange,” wrote Pamela Anderson in an open letter. “I support him and I know you value Free Speech – Visibility is good for him especially in America. Where they are trying to put him away for life or worse for exposing corruption in governments.”
“They are trying to kill [Assange],” she added. “It is Torture. [He has] been locked in a small room for almost 6 years in London at the Ecuadorian Embassy. And he now can have no visitors. No Phone calls or internet. They are squeezing him.”
The ban on Assange’s communication began at the end of March in an attempt to curtail the WikiLeaks founder from interfering in other countries’ affairs. According to the BBC, the straw that broke the camel’s back was Assange’s questioning “accusations that Moscow was responsible for the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy and his daughter in the UK.” Ecuadorian government views Assange’s move as something that could endanger their relations with the United Kingdom.
“The measure was adopted in the face of Assange’s failure to comply with a written commitment he assumed with the government at the end of 2017, under which he was obliged not to issue messages that would interfere with other states,” the Ecuadorian government said in a statement.
U.K. officials did not take kindly to Assange’s comments on Twitter; U.K. Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan publicly referred to Assange as a “miserable little worm” who must submit himself to British justice.
Assange has been suspended from the internet at the embassy before; in 2016, his connection was briefly severed after he famously published hacked emails from the Hillary Clinton campaign.
The WikiLeaks founder has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 to avoid being extradited to Sweden over alleged sex crimes; he has vehemently denied the charges, calling them a conspiracy against him. Though the Swedish authorities have dropped the investigation against Assange, he will not be given political asylum for fear that he would be extradited to the United States for questioning over WikiLeaks activities.