Ricardo Patino: Ecuador
Grants Asylum to Julian Assange
August 16, 2012
Ecuador has granted asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who took
refuge in the country's embassy in London nearly two months ago.
Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino announced the decision, which
comes amid diplomatic tensions between Britain and Ecuador.
Ecuadorian officials have accused Britain of threatening to storm
Ecuador's embassy to arrest Assange. Britain has warned of using a law
that would allow it to revoke the embassy's diplomatic status.
Assange has remained in the Ecuadorian embassy since late June as he
attempts to keep Britain from extraditing him to Sweden, where he is
wanted for questioning in connection with sexual assault allegations. He
has denied those accusations.
says it will not allow Assange safe passage out of the country, and that
it is obligated to extradite him to Sweden.
Outside the Ecuadorian embassy Thursday, British police tussled with
protesters chanting slogans in support of Assange. At least three
protesters were arrested.
Assange fears Sweden could send him to the United States to face
possible charges related to the 2010 release of hundreds of thousands of
classified documents, including diplomatic cables held by the U.S. State
Department about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.