Julian Assange was reportedly a very bad houseguest during the last seven years he spent in the Ecuadorian Embassy.
Not long after the WikiLeaks founder was arrested on Thursday when the Ecuadorian government dropped his right to asylum in its London embassy, reports emerged of the disgusting stay he had there for seven years. There had long been reports of poor hygiene and failure to care for his pet cat, but Ecuador’s Interior Minister laid out Assange’s alleged misdeeds in the most graphic terms yet.
As the Daily Mail reported, Assange’s arrest set off a bit of a spat within Ecuador, as former president Rafael Correa — who first granted Assange asylum in the embassy — slammed current president Lenin Moreno for dropping the protection and allowing London police to take him into custody. That prompted a reply from Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo, who claimed that Correa was far too lenient in allowing Assange to remain in the embassy.
“During his stay at the Ecuadorian Embassy, during the government of the former president Rafael Correa, they tolerated things like Mr Assange putting feces on the walls of the embassy and other types of behavior of this kind that is far removed from the minimum respect a guest should have in a country which has generously welcomed him,” Romo said in a statement.
Assange’s arrest prompted other details to emerge about his contentious seven years inside the embassy. As ABC News reported, Assange was described as “discourteous and aggressive” by President Moreno, who said that Assange was still playing an active role in WikiLeaks, despite an agreement that he would not lead the organization from behind the protection of Ecuador.
“The patience of Ecuador has reached its limit on the behavior of Mr. Assange,” Moreno said. “He installed electronic and distortion equipment not allowed… He has confronted and mistreated guards.”
Julian Assange also reportedly strained the relationship with his organization’s continued releases of sensitive documents, some of which targeted Ecuador and its allies. American intelligence agencies also determined that WikiLeaks had worked with Russian hackers to publish emails that had been stolen from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign head, John Podesta. Assange will now face charges in the United States for allegedly helping former U.S. Army specialist Chelsea Manning steal sensitive documents, which WikiLeaks published in 2010.
Julian Assange’s arrest has also drawn criticism among those who see it as an attack on free press.