Former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden
Former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden calls Assange's arrest ' dark moment for press freedom'

ANI | Updated: Apr 11, 2019 18:28 IST

Moscow [Russia], April 11 (ANI): Former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden on Thursday called Wikileaks co-founder Julias Assange's arrest a 'dark moment for press freedom.'
Snowden tweeted a link to the video of Assange being taken into the police custody after being evicted from the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
" Images of Ecuador's ambassador inviting the UK's secret police into the embassy to drag a publisher of--like it or not--award-winning journalism out of the building are going to end up in the history books. Assange's critics may cheer, but this is a dark moment for press freedom," his tweet read.  
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Assange was arrested earlier in the day in London in connection with the INA paper leaks.
Following his arrest, former French MP Jean-Luc Antoine Pierre Melenchon said that his country must grant political asylum to Assange at a time when 'his freedom is threatened'.
" Julian Assange acted for the cause of the freedom and independence of France by revealing aggressive practices against us. The honour of our country must be to grant him political asylum at a time when his freedom is threatened," Sputnik quoted Melenchon as saying.
Assange has been arrested for failing to surrender to the court over a warrant issued by Westminster Magistrates’ Court in 2012, the New York Times reported, while quoting the London Police.
The INA papers are the cache of documents published in February 2019, allegedly uncovering the operations of INA Investment Corp., an offshore tax haven created by the brother of Ecuadorian President.
Wikileaks had announced that Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno is being investigated for corruption charges after the leaks of the papers.
Assange had repeatedly suggested that he might be apprehended outside the embassy and extradited to the United States.
Over the past months, the Ecuadorian authorities were reportedly putting various restrictions on the conditions of Assange's stay in the embassy, which the whistleblower's defence termed as violation of human rights. (ANI)

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