Julian Assange granted asylum by Ecuador

Nieuws, gepost door: Anonymous op 16/08/2012 08:05:26

Wanneer: 16/08/2012 - 16:45

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has hailed the decision of the government of Ecuador to grant him political asylum, calling it "courageous."

Assange, a 41-year-old Australian, has been holed up in Ecuador's embassy in London since June 19, just 10 days before he was supposed to turn himself in to police.

He is trying to avoid extradition from the U.K. to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning for alleged sexual misconduct. He has exhausted all his legal avenues in his bid to avoid extradition.

"It was not Britain or my home country, Australia, that stood up to protect me from persecution, but a courageous, independent Latin American nation," Assange said in a statement.

Speaking in Quito, Ricardo Patino, the foreign minister of Ecuador, announced the decision to grant Assange asylum. Patino said Assange faces the threat of political persecution including the possibility of extradition to the United States, where Patino said the Australian would not get a fair trial. Patino added that neither the U.K. nor Sweden would offer Ecuador assurances that Assange would not be turned over to another country.

"It is not impossible that he would be treated in a cruel manner, condemned to life in prison, or even the death penalty," Patino said. "Ecuador is convinced that his procedural rights have been violated.

U.K. 'disappointed'
The U.K. Foreign Office said it was "disappointed" with Ecuador's decision.

"Under our law, with Mr. Assange having exhausted all options of appeal UK authorities are under binding obligation to extradite him to Sweden," the Foreign Office said on Twitter.

"We shall carry out that obligation. The Ecuadorian government's decision this afternoon does not change that."

The Foreign Office said it was committed to a negotiated solution that would let it "carry out our obligations under the Extradition Act."

The U.K. has said it will arrest Assange when he leaves the embassy.

On Wednesday, the U.K. threatened to use a 1987 law to lift the Ecuadorian embassy's diplomatic status. The Foreign Office said it was Britain's "obligation to extradite Mr. Assange."

Sweden summoned Ecuador's ambassador in the wake of the decision to grant Assange asylum.

"We want to tell them that it's unacceptable that Ecuador is trying to stop the Swedish judicial process," Swedish Foreign Minister spokeswoman Anders Jorle said.

Assange's WikiLeaks website infuriated the United States when it began publishing thousands of diplomatic cable, war logs from Afghanistan and Iraq, and files about Guantanamo Bay.

for the orginal article:http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/08/16/julian-assange-ecuador-uk.html


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