WikiLeaks has replaced Julian Assange as editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, the organization announced Wednesday. Assange, who will remain on board as publisher, has appointed Kristinn Hrafnsson as the new editor in chief.
The decision comes six months after Assange’s internet privileges at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London have been revoked.
“Due to the extraordinary circumstances where Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has been held incommunicado (…) for six months while arbitrarily detained in the Ecuadorian embassy, Mr. Assange has appointed Kristinn Hrafnsson Editor in Chief of WikiLeaks,” the organization wrote in a statement.
Hrafnsson, an Icelandic journalist, served as WikiLeaks spokesperson until 2016, and has “overseen certain legal projects” for the organization since then.
Assange has spent the last six years in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he sought asylum from Swedish government’s attempt to extradite him on charges of rape. While those charges have been dropped in 2017, Assange still may be arrested by the UK for violating bail, as well as extradited to the U.S. for publishing state secrets.
But Ecuador appears to have been less willing to continue giving Assange asylum in recent years. The strife between the WikiLeaks founder and Ecuador culminated in March 2018, when Assange’s communications with anyone outside the embassy were cut for breaching his commitment to the Ecuadorian government he would not interfere with other states.