Britain refuses Ecuador's request to grant diplomatic status to Assange

Ecuadoran President Lenin Moreno has been infuriated by Assange's criticism of his political allies abroad

"The government of Ecuador recently requested diplomatic status for Assange here in the UK".

Following reports of the news in Ecuadorean media on Wednesday, Assange tweeted a photo of himself wearing the jersey of Ecuador's national soccer team.

Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder, has been given an Ecuadorean passport and identity documents, fuelling speculation that he could soon be moved from the embassy in London.

He was granted asylum there in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over rape allegations.

There is no evidence at this point that US authorities have filed any charges against him, including secret charges, but CIA Director Mike Pompeo a year ago called WikiLeaks a "hostile intelligence service".

Ecuador said the United Kingdom should guarantee him "safe passage" to Ecuador if he leaves the embassy.

In London, police say they are "obliged" to arrest Assange if he leaves the embassy, for breaching the terms of his bail in 2012.

His continued political activism creates diplomatic headaches for Ecuador.

Ecuador Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa announced this today.

Assange rose to global attention in 2010 after WikiLeaks published leaked military information provided by former United States Army soldier Chelsea Manning, which prompted the U.S. government to launch a criminal investigation into the publisher.

A United Nations panel concluded in 2016 that Mr Assange was under arbitrary detention.

What could happen to Julian Assange now? A whole coterie of left liberals and pseudo-left organizations have provided political cover for the state vendetta against Assange, seeking to legitimize the phony sexual misconduct charges against him, while tying him to the claims of Russian "meddling" in the 2016 USA election.

August 13, 2015: Swedish prosecutors drop some of the allegations against Julian Assange.

July 2014: Assange, 46, loses his appeal to have the Sweden arrest warrant thrown out.

August 21, 2015: Civil rights campaigner Jesse Jackson visits the Embassy.

This sparks speculation that Assange is about to end his self-imposed exile.

However, senior government office holders have been highly critical of Mr Assange in the past and he continues to fear prosecution.