Ecuador Rejects US ‘Punishment’ for Asylum, Calls on Britain to Apologize for Threats

Urges Britain to Allow Safe Passage for Assange

In an interview today with RT Spanish, Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino rejected the idea of the US “punishing” his nation for granting Julian Assange asylum, saying that the US is “not Ecuador’s father or teacher to punish us” and that his nation has the same rights as any other.

Patino went on to criticize Britain for Foreign Minister William Hague’s threat to attack the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, urging them to repudiate the threat and apologize. He added that the easiest solution to the standoff would be for Britain to just allow Assange safe passage to Ecuador.

British officials have mostly avoided comment on Assange since the asylum agreement, with Hague vowing only to not allow him to leave the country. Since he could stay in the embassy seemingly for years without a deal in place, the question is unlikely to go away on its own.

Ecuador granted Assange asylum on grounds that if he were extradited to Sweden he might be forwarded to the US to face torture or execution. The US has denied issuing any charges against Assange, but Sweden hasn’t charged him with anything either, and has refused to rule out giving him to the US.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.