Ecuador Grants Asylum to WikiLeaks Founder Assange

Ecuador has granted asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, citing genuine concerns that his human rights might be violated and that the sex offense accusations against him may be used as an opportunity for the US to prosecute him for published classified documents.

Assange began hiding out in Ecuador’s London embassy after UK courts denied his appeal for extradition to Sweden. Ecuador’s long-awaited decision comes after British authorities threatened to revoke the embassy’s diplomatic status in order to give them legal cover to forcibly enter the embassy and arrest Assange.

In response to this move, Ecuador’s foreign minister said, “We can’t allow spokespeople from the UK to gleefully say they have been honest when they have threatened us in such a way.”

But the British Foreign Office warned it would not respect the Ecuadoran government’s decision. “Under our law,” the office said in a statement, “with Mr Assange having exhausted all options of appeal, the British authorities are under a binding obligation to extradite him to Sweden.

“We shall carry out that obligation. The Ecuadorean government’s decision this afternoon does not change that.”

Later, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Britain would not grant Mr. Assange safe passage to Ecuador because “there is no legal basis for us to do so.”

He said the extradition they are legally obliged to carry out regards allegations of “serious sexual offenses,” and had nothing to do with the work of WikiLeaks or with a desire by US authorities to try him for publishing diplomatic secrets.

But according to leaked emails from the defense consulting group Stratfor, “a sealed indictment has been issued by a secret grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, for Julian Assange. The email is dated 26 January 2011. This means that there has likely been a sealed extradition order for over a year, which will be activated (unsealed) against Assange in Sweden, Australia and the UK when the US Government gives the order.”

Last 5 posts by John Glaser

Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for Antiwar.com.

  • pendulum

    Briltish Govt squeeks out a response from under the foot of US

  • The conduct of the British government during the past 48 hours brings to mind the advice given to the new British Ambassador to the United States during the Dubbya years. "Just crawl up their arse and stay there."
    The courage of the Ecuadorian government meanwhile, in giving sanctuary to this fugitive from Imperial persecution stands as a very revealing and clarifying contrast.

    • Augustbrhm

      BRAVO..BRAVO my brother.

  • walshtrhee

    "binding obligation to extradite him to Sweden" appears to be untrue, since the fugitive is not on UK territory, in other words he has fled the country, any embassy is considered territory of the particular country, the UK is under no obligation to pursue any fugitive to other countries

  • Oswaldwasalefty

    Good thing for Assange that the Ecuadorean embassy looks like a nice place to live, because to no one's surprise the Brits aren't going to allow him safe passage out of the country:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/no-saf

    Hopefully, in the meantime he will be able to get his Russia Today show going again and he can start doing some journalism again.

    It would make no sense to go airborne over international waters to try to go Ecuador when the government of the country that wants to grab him dominates he skies of the world with its air force. He either sneaks out in disguise or he stays put.

    "We're not a British colony"
    http://ww4.hdnux.com/photos/14/56/03/3334383/3/62

  • William Dalton

    President Correa has denied these press reports and states that his government has made no decision on the petition for asylum by Julian Assange.
    http://www.ecuadorembassyuk.org.uk/announcements/

    • Watson

      That's dated yesterday, before the asylum announcement

    • Lapchick

      Try to keep up with the rest of the class William.

  • Johnny_Warbucks

    Bravo Ecuador!

    I can't hear the blather of those who theorized that Assange was a CIA operative. Guess the cat got their tongue, eh?

  • Dr.Khan

    It would be lovely to see same threat coming from Brits if Assanage had taken that refuge in China Embassy.It's Ecuador,so why not shake the little Banana Republic for such mischivious act.but it seems Brits were wrong.

  • mojo

    England, Sweden, and US is about the vulture capitalism, the system have no respects for human life nor humanity whatsoever, although there was a time where Sweden would top the countries respecting the human rights but that was back 1980s, lately (in last 10-15 years) Sweden and thanks to the Swedish Social democrats and their fake socialism the entire country has changed for the worse, the Neo Fascism is dominating the Swedish government so is the England Neo Liberal fascism.

    For Swedes the war in Libya was for them to find a buyer for their junk fighter jest JAS, which drops like bird shiiittte from the sky, for US, English, French and Italian Mafia was to bring about the barbarians into power, yet don’t take the swedes as you see them, they are very piousness and have a very good relation with US State department and rest of the EU NEO FACISM.

    For that two Swedish girl who set up the trap for Assange, one is the member of the Swedish Social Democratic party, the other works for SAPO and nowhere to be seen.

  • RParker

    So what is the dimwit British government going to do about it? Send in the SAS to attack the embassy and execute Assange? Wouldn't that be so damned heroic!!

  • As an Australian, let me say that my own Government is a pawn of the U.S. as is Britain. They are all waiting to betray Assange and let the U.S. do with him what they will.

    The U.S. will take Assange out with a drone or utilize their assassination squads no matter where he ends up. The main thing that they want is to show that whistle-blowers get punished Big Brother style.

    This is American democracy in action.

    • curmudgeonvt

      I understand your sentiment…but these actions and intentions by the USG have absolutely nothing to do with American democracy. American democracy is a pipe dream that drifted away not long after 1776.

      • Mike

        America is no democracy,actually the worst criminal government in the world.It's like Israel and America try to see how can break more laws.__

    • Benjacomin Bozart

      We haven't burned down and Embassy and let death squads murder and torture survivors since the Spanish Embassy in Guatamala.

      To hear me fascist fellow parishioners and Bishops go on about defending the Catholic Church against the evil Obama but I got involved with my church to defend it against Reagan and Bush slaughtering of Bishop Romero, Jesuits, and nuns. Apparently that was a good thing for the conservative Catholics. Jesus weeps

  • Wolfgang9

    I have been one of the people who has been quite active when Bobby Fischer was looking for asylum in Iceland (he was then imprisoned in Japan for no good reason). But Bobby Fischer died just a few years later after being freed in Iceland and I don't know if Mossad was involved. I'm not sure if Iceland would not have been a better choice, because I think even if Julian Assange would ever make it to Ecuador, it would need some body guards top save him there from CIA-payed body snatchers.

    • Strider55

      That's why I said here right after this whole business started that Assange should have taken refuge in the Icelandic embassy.

      Another problem with Ecuador (which I hadn't thought of earlier) is that region's political instability. It doesn't take a large stretch of the imagination to envision the CIA staging a coup to depose Correa, followed by the new puppet ruler turning Assange over to them for rendition to the US. Or the CIA could dispense with such complexities and simply shoot him on the spot. No way could that happen in Iceland.

      I'm 99% sure that if Assange is appointed to a job in the embassy, he would then have diplomatic immunity and the British police couldn't touch him. Countries have long given their spies the same cover as a "get out of jail free" card in case they're caught. Some reader who is an expert in such matters please correct me if I'm wrong.

      • Benjacomin Bozart

        The Toady's say they can break relations with Ecuador and send the Ambassador and staff out. Then unless Assange got out they would then go in and send him to Gitmo. They could give him a diplomatic passport but the Empire has no respect for international law.

        It will be open season on all Embassies and no diplomat safe once the Empire pulls this off. The Soviets let Venerable József Cardinal Mindszenty hole up in the US Embassy for 15 years. We are worse than Soviet Russia and being a Toady to Israel covering the early Nazi days.

  • mojo

    Let this man and Bradley Manning go free, they have done nothing wrong to this world but telling the truth about the real danger of a NEO FASCISM on the rise, a militarism regime supported by these fake democrats and liberals.

    It is Swedish, the US and England fake democracy that needs to be prosecuted for war crime and act against humanity with their allied as Israel and those barbarians who are in rampage against the Syrian people. This two man just exposed what these systems are about, they didn’t participated in any way in the killings of innocent people.

  • Harvey

    When I was growing up, people used to hide in embassies in the countries of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact in order to stay away from their rigged trials and camps.

    Today they hide in embassies to stay away from American show trials and American camps. And today I hear people from around the world say that they think its impossible for someone to receive a fair trial in America. And point out that America is one of the few nations left with a death penalty.

    If there was ever a wake-up call to the America people to elect an entirely new government, and a government free of the Democrats and Republicans that have so tarnished America's image in the world, then this is it.

    • RParker

      We are certainly not going to vote our way to an entirely new government at this point in time. The Declaration of Independence is pretty explicit about it:

      "But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security."

  • weralldoingtime

    USA~ Update: Former Marine Brandon Raub arrested for Facebook Posts, not an actual crime | Rising Revolution~ http://www.risingrevolution.com/2012/08/update-fo