The Ecuadorian government has confirmed that it has “temporarily restricted” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s access to the internet at its embassy in London.
On Tuesday Ecuador’s foreign ministry released an official communique stating that the country “exercised its right…[to]…temporarily restrict access to some…private communications network within its Embassy in the United Kingdom.”
The move comes after the WikiLeaks published a raft of stolen emails from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign seeking to damage her chances of election.
The official confirmation of the internet restriction came less than a day after WikiLeaks tweeted that Ecuador had denied Assange access to the Internet on Saturday. The ban seems to have been ordered after Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs were released on the site.
The statement Ecuador cites the “wealth of documents” published by WikiLeaks and the possible impact they may have on the US election results. It also goes on to say that the government of Ecuador “does not interfere in external electoral processes, nor does it favour any particular candidate.”
Spokespeople for Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa’s government said it had not been pressured into making the move to restrict Assange’s ability to leak documents by the US government.
WikiLeaks however, have claimed that US secretary of state John Kerry wanted Mr Assange to stop publishing documents while talks on a peace deal continued between Colombia’s largest rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc), and the Colombian government.
Mr Assange, is currently wanted for questioning in Sweden over a sex allegation at from 2010. After a lengthy legal battle, UK courts approved an extradition request by Swedish prosecutors. Assange has previously stated that he would go to Sweden if it could be guaranteed that he would not then be extradited by the US to answer charges there. He has been living inside the Ecuador’s London-based embassy since 2012 when he was granted temporary asylum by Ecuador.