WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is stateless no more. On Thursday, Ecuador revealed that it had extended citizenship to Assange, a controversial figure who moved into London’s Ecuadorian embassy to evade extradition to Sweden back in 2012. Assange alluded to the citizenship status with a Twitter post depicting him in an Ecuadorian football jersey.
Sweden has since abandoned its intention to bring Assange back to the country to face allegations related to sexual assault. Still, Assange remained in the Ecuadorian embassy for fear of being extradited to the United States for his role in releasing classified U.S. intelligence and military documentation, including a video that depicted U.S. troops gunning down a number of non-combatants in Baghdad, including two Reuters journalists and children.
At the time of his work with whistleblower Chelsea Manning, many viewed Assange as a champion of government transparency, though his legacy now is considerably more mixed. Since that time, Assange has taken to openly peddling widely debunked conspiracy theories and lashing out at journalists who revealed that WikiLeaks concealed documents that showed massive payments between Syria and Russia.
Assange’s newfound citizenship has again escalated tensions with Britain, though it’s likely that he’ll leverage the status to make a move out of the Ecuadorian embassy once and for all.