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Julian Assange denied diplomatic status by UK

Press Trust of India  |  London 

founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up in the in to avoid arrest and extradition to the US, was today denied diplomatic status by the

The anti-secrecy group's has been based at the embassy in central since 2012 after he lost appeals against sexual assault charges in

The request for diplomatic status was made on behalf of the 46-year-old by the Ecuadorean government, which has reportedly issued a passport to the Australian national after he had sought political asylum from the South American country five and a half years ago.

"The of recently requested diplomatic status for Assange here in the The did not grant that request, nor are we in talks with on this matter, said a for the UK Foreign and (FCO).

"Ecuador knows that the way to resolve this issue is for to leave the embassy to face justice," the added.

According to from Ecuador earlier this week, Assange has been registered to the province of Pichincha, which covers the capital

The public database of the country's internal revenue service indicates that the was delivered to Assange on December 21, indicating that the country is preparing for the campaigners exit from his hideout.

Ecuador has said that the country is seeking a neutral third-party nations mediation to revolve what she described as an "untenable" situation.

While the grant of a passport has not been officially confirmed, it is seen as part of a process to get Assange out of the UK by giving him a role at the embassy that confers diplomatic immunity.

The rape allegation against the had followed a conference in in 2010.

Assange has always denied the sexual assault allegations against him, claiming the sex was consensual and that the case was politically motivated to get him extradited to the US over massive dumps of secret US military reports that year.

Swedish prosecutors have since dropped their investigation into the allegations but Assange still faces arrest by for breaching bail conditions if he steps outside the embassy.

Assange also fears he will be extradited to the US if he leaves the building over a sealed indictment ordering his arrest.

A panel had concluded in 2016 that Assange was under arbitrary detention. But the British has maintained he must face justice in UK courts over his breach of bail conditions.

WikiLeaks is an international non-profit journalistic organisation that publishes secret information, leaks and classified media from anonymous sources.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 11 2018. 17:05 IST