Cathal Power of The Daily Shift reports on the news that Ecuador have granted asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange…
Julian Assange, founder of the infamous website, Wikileaks, has been granted asylum by Ecuador. Assange, a native of Australia, was granted asylum today having took up residency in their London based embassy around two months ago.
The Australian native took refuge at the embassy in June, after UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said that the UK would not allow Mr Assange safe passage out of the country.
Mr Assange is currently wanted for questioning in Sweden in connection with assault and rape claims, both of which the Wikileaks founder denies.
In 2010, two female ex-Wikileaks volunteers accused Mr Assange of committing sexual offences against them while he was in Stockholm to give a lecture.
Mr Assange claims the sex was consensual and the allegations are politically motivated.
Ecuador’s Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patino, even went as far as accusing the UK of making an “open threat” to arrest Julian Assange, despite the Australian native having asylum.
“A significant victory” had been achieved when Ecuador granted political asylum, according to Mr Assange. He also thanked all the staff at the Ecuadorean embassy in London for their help and support.
However, the UK Foreign Office were adamant that the decision would not affect the legal obligations to extradite him to Sweden.
Mr Assange however, warned things would only get more stressful now.
“It was not Britain or my home country, Australia, that stood up to protect me from persecution, but a courageous, independent Latin American nation.”
“While today much of the focus will be on the decision of the Ecuadorean government, it is just as important that we remember Bradley Manning has been detained without trial for over 800 days.”
Assange was referring to the former US soldier accused of leaking government documents to Wikileaks.
Despite granting Mr Assange political asylum, Ecuadorean authorities offered Swedish investigators the chance to interview the 41 year old, but this offer was rejected.
Assange claims that he’ll be handed over to American authorities if he is extradited to Sweden by the UK.