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Wikileaks founder granted asylum by the Ecuador government

by duncan12

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In a move that is surely going to raise rabble between the two countries Ecuador and the UK is the granting of <a href="">asylum</a> to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

 The hostilities has been clearly growing over the shelter provided to Mr Assange at the Ecuador embassy in London after Mr Assange walked into the premises and requesting asylum.

 The matter got more complicated when just prior to the decision to grant asylum was made the government of UK had reportedly warned in a letter that it could revoke the embassy’s diplomatic immunity if the Wikileaks founder was not handed over which sparked a furious response from the Ecuadorian officials.

 The asylum decision, was given 'extreme and careful consideration' before being announced by foreign affairs minister Ricardo Patino in the Ecuadorian capital Quito.

A Foreign Office spokesman said the Government was 'disappointed' by Mr Patino's statement and stressed that the UK had a 'binding obligation' to extradite Mr Assange.

 Mr Patino said Mr Assange is clear he is being persecuted for political reasons because of the disclosures of documents by WikiLeaks

 The news was seen live by Mr Assange and embassy staff in a link to a press conference from Quito.

 Mr Patino said the Ecuadorian government had conducted lengthy diplomatic talks with the UK, Swedish and US governments but none were ready to give guarantees that the South American country was seeking and none of these countries was willing to negotiate on the issue.

 He said the response from the United States also had been that it cannot offer any guarantees. 

 Keeping these precedents in mind the Ecuadorian government, loyal to its tradition to protect those who seek refuge with us and in our diplomatic mission, have decided to grant diplomatic asylum to Mr Assange he said.

 Mr Patino called for Mr Assange to be guaranteed 'safe passage' to leave the embassy but the Foreign Office insisted this would not be offered.

 The minister said that Ecuador trusts that the United Kingdom will offer, as soon as possible, the guarantee for the safe passage for this asylum of Mr Assange and that they would respect those international agreements that they have signed in the past and that they have always respected.

He hoped the 'friendship' with the UK would 'remain intact'.

He added that the two countries shared the respect for the same values of human rights, democracy and peace which were only possible once fundamental human rights were respected.

Mr Assange hailed the decisions as a victory. He said that he was grateful to the Ecuadorian people, President Rafael Correa and his government. It was not Britain or his home country, Australia that stood up to protect him from persecution, but a courageous, independent Latin American nation.

 Meanwhile 40 police officers were posted outside the embassy to stop any move by the embassy to smuggle Mr Assange outside the country.

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