LONDON, ENGLAND (BNO NEWS) — The controversial whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks on late Wednesday declared that the American and British governments had effectively given groups an opening to attack embassies by supporting Britain’s siege of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
The statements were made through the official WikiLeaks account on Twitter, immediately prompting harsh criticism from both supporters and opponents. It is not known who manages the WikiLeaks Twitter account, although some reports have said its founder Julian Assange has recently assumed control of the feed.
“By the US accepting the UK siege on the Ecuadorian embassy in London it gave tacit approval for attacks on embassies around the world,” the first message said, adding: “By the UK threatening to breach the Ecuadorian embassy in London it helped to normalize attacks on embassies, in general. It must retract.”
After harsh criticism, the first message was deleted and replaced with a slightly different message which claimed the U.S. government has helped normalize attacks on embassies. “We have deleted and rephrased a previous tweet with the word ‘tacit’ in it, since the word is rare and was being misinterpreted,” a follow-up message said.
The messages were referring to the situation at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where Assange is holed up and surrounded by British police who want to extradite him to Sweden where he faces allegations of sexual molestation, unlawful coercion and rape. The Ecuadorian government gave Assange political asylum in August.
Prior to the political asylum being granted, the British government threatened police could enter the Ecuadorian embassy to arrest Assange. The Ecuadorian government immediately expressed its outrage and received support from South American governments, and Britain later clarified there was no threat to enter the embassy.
The messages on Wednesday were an apparent response to attacks on U.S. diplomatic compounds in Libya and Egypt a day earlier, resulting in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador John Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. It was the first time in more than three decades that a U.S. Ambassador was killed as a result of hostile action.