Ecuador has granted citizenship to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been living in asylum in its London embassy for the last five years. The development was announced by Ecuador's Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa on Thursday during a press conference in Quito.
Espinosa said, “WikiLeaks Julian Assange was naturalised as an Ecuador national on December 12 at his request.”
The Ecuador foreign minister also added that the Ecuadorian officials decided to permit Assange's naturalization while they were looking for ways to resolve his current situation.
She further added that they feared for his life threats coming from third party states.
Several media reports have claimed earlier that Assange was given Ecuador passport a few days before the Christmas.
Ecuador had granted Assange political asylum after taking refuge in Knightsbridge, west London, in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over charges of rape and sexual assault.