WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has had his internet access temporarily cut off at Ecuador’s London embassy after the whistleblowing site was feared to be interfering with the U.S. presidential election.
The Ecuadorian government confirmed the news on Tuesday after WikiLeaks published a series of hacked emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta, which contains transcripts of speeches made by the Democratic Party nominee at Goldman Sachs events.
Assange has been living at the Ecuadorean embassy in the UK capital since 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden where he faces charges for sexual assault.
In a statement, Ecuador’s government said that while it stands by its decision to grant political Asylum to Assange, it does respect other nations’ sovereignty.
“In recent weeks, WikiLeaks has published a wealth of documents impacting on the U.S. election campaign,” the Foreign Relations Ministry said. “This decision was taken exclusively by that organisation. The Government of Ecuador respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states. It does not interfere in external electoral processes, nor does it favour any particular candidate.
“Accordingly, Ecuador has exercised its sovereign right to temporarily restrict access to some of its private communications network within its Embassy in the United Kingdom. This temporary restriction does not prevent the WikiLeaks organisation from carrying out its journalistic activities.”
Ecuador’s Foreign Affairs department tweeted the news on Tuesday: