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Ear to the Ground

Ecuador Reportedly Offers Sanctuary to Assange

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Posted on Aug 15, 2012
Herder3 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

A stencil drawing of Assange in Leipzig, Germany.

Sources within the Ecuadorean government report that President Rafael Correa has agreed to grant asylum to Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who is wanted by Sweden for alleged sexual misconduct, and by the United States for publishing state secrets.

To get to the airport, however, Assange has to leave the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he is said to have lived in a single room for the past many weeks. Assange violated house arrest to take refuge in the embassy and has been wanted by the British government since.

It appears that Assange could be arrested as soon as he sets foot outside of the embassy. His apprehension and extradition to Sweden could result in his eventual transfer to the United States, where it is believed authorities have already indicted him secretly. If found guilty under the Espionage Act, Assange could be executed.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

“For Mr Assange to leave England, he should have a safe pass from the British [government]. Will that be possible? That’s an issue we have to take into account,” Patiño told Reuters on Tuesday.

Government sources in Quito confirmed that despite the outstanding legal issues, Correa would grant Assange asylum – a move that would annoy Britain, the US and Sweden. They added that the offer was made to Assange several months ago, well before he sought refuge in the embassy, and following confidential negotiations with senior London embassy staff.

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