Ecuador's government acknowledged on Tuesday that it had partly restricted Internet access for Julian Assange, the founder of anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks who has lived in the South American country's London embassy since mid-2012. The ministry said it decided to "temporarily restrict" communications at the embassy due to leaks by the anti-secrecy website that could impact the U.S. election. WikiLeaks said Assange lost connectivity on Sunday, sparking speculation that Ecuador might have been pressured by the United States due to the group's publication of hacked material linked to U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The U.S. denied the charges.
The government of Ecuador respects the principle of nonintervention in the internal affairs of other states. It does not interfere in external electoral processes, nor does it favor any particular candidate.Ecuadoran foreign ministry
Assange was granted asylum by Ecuador in 2012 after a British court ordered him extradited to Sweden to face questioning in a sexual molestation case involving two female supporters. Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa has long backed Assange's right to free speech and has also supported Clinton publicly.