World Bulletin / News Desk
The U.S. and Ecuador denied Wednesday they conspired to restrict Internet access to the editor-in-chief of Wikileaks.
Ecuador acknowledged Tuesday that it had blocked Julian Assange’s access at its embassy in London where he has sought refuge from international prosecution.
The country’s foreign ministry said in a statement that it took the action because it “respects the principle of non-intervention in the affairs of other countries,” and that Wikileaks had "published a large number of documents which have an impact on the election campaign in the United States.
“Ecuador's foreign policy responds only to sovereign decisions and not yield to pressure from other states,” it said.
The announcement comes as Wikileaks continues to release waves of emails form the campaign of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s in the run-up to the Nov. 8 presidential polls.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest denied that the U.S. pressured Quito into taking the action, stressing that Ecuador has an independent foreign policy.
"They made their own conclusion to pursue this action against Mr. Assange and that's a decision that they've undertaken based on their own conclusion about what's in their country's best interest,” he said.
Assange has been holed up in Ecuador’s London embassy since the country granted him political asylum in 2012. He has been unable to leave the embassy grounds for fear of being arrested by British authorities for an alleged sexual assault.
Ecuador stressed that its decision to restrict Assange’s Internet access does not in any way affect its decision to grant Assange asylum.