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WikiLeaks Says Julian Assange's Internet Access Cut Off By 'State Party'

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange participates via video link at a news conference in October marking the 10th anniversary of the group.

The activist organization WikiLeaks says the Internet connection for its founder, Julian Assange, has been severed by what it called a "state party."

The accusation came in a tweet early Monday.

The WikiLeaks founder has been living at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for more than four years. As The Two-Way has reported, Assange sought refuge there after Sweden issued a warrant for his arrest over allegations of sex crimes. He has said that if sent to Sweden, he fears he would be handed over to the U.S. and could face trial over the release of classified U.S. material on WikiLeaks.

An NPR call and email to WikiLeaks were not immediately returned. The Associated Press reported Monday on its efforts to corroborate the Internet outage accusation:

"Calls, texts and emails left with WikiLeaks weren't immediately returned Monday. A woman who picked up the phone at the [Ecuadorean] embassy said: 'I cannot disclose any information.' An email to Ecuador's ambassador wasn't immediately answered. London's Metropolitan Police declined comment."

On Saturday, WikiLeaks published another round of emails purportedly linked to John Podesta, chairman of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign, NPR's Meg Anderson reported.

Here's more from Meg:

"This batch was the eighth installment of what WikiLeaks says are Podesta's emails, and the controversial organization claims to have more than 50,000 emails in total that they plan to release.

"The Clinton campaign has not confirmed that the hacked emails are real and NPR has not been able to confirm their authenticity, but the campaign has linked the hack to Russia and says Moscow is interfering with the election to promote Donald Trump's candidacy.

...

"If the emails are authentic, they provide insight into the private conversations happening at the highest levels of the Clinton campaign. So far, those conversations have included how to defend Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state and potential problematic excerpts from her Wall Street speeches."

At a press conference on Oct. 4, Assange said via video link that WikiLeaks would be releasing information he felt was relevant to the U.S. election beginning that week, and that he hoped the organization would "be publishing every week for the next 10 weeks," leading up to and through the Nov. 8 presidential vote.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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