Ecuador Grants Asylum to Julian Assange
Ecuador has granted asylum to Julian Assange of Wikiliaks.
“The government of Ecuador, faithful to its tradition of protecting those who seek refuge in its territory or in its diplomatic missions, has decided to grant diplomatic asylum to Julian Assange,” said Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño, reading from a government communiqué at a news conference....
“There are indications to presume that there could be political persecution,” and that Mr. Assange would not get a fair trial in the United States and could face the death penalty there.
Ecuador can only provide protection to Assange in Ecuador. And Britain still says it must extradite him to Sweden. How does he get to Ecuador? [More..]
The move gives Mr. Assange with protection from British arrest, but only on Ecuadorean territory, leaving him vulnerable if he tries to head to an airport or train.
Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadoran embassy in London since June 19, sleeping on an air mattress in an office. He can't go outdoors, so he gets no exercise or sunlight.
Some of Mr. Assange’s friends have encouraged him to put on music and dance as a way of getting physical activity and that they had also brought sunlamps.”
Sweden has thus far indicated it would comply with any request to extradite Assange to the U.S. to face charges over Wikileaks.
Wikileaks issued a statement yesterday before the asylum decision:
We remind the public that these extraordinary actions are being taken to detain a man who has not been charged with any crime in any country,” the statement said. It added: “We further urge the U.K. government to show restraint, and to consider the dire ramifications of any violation of the elementary norms of international law.”
Update: Why Ecuador was right to grant asylum to Assange.
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