News / Europe

Ecuador Mulls Giving Julian Assange Asylum

In this Feb. 1, 2012 file photo, Julian Assange, the 40-year-old WikiLeaks founder, arrives at the Supreme Court in London.
In this Feb. 1, 2012 file photo, Julian Assange, the 40-year-old WikiLeaks founder, arrives at the Supreme Court in London.
Henry Ridgwell
​LONDON - Ecuador says it is giving serious consideration to giving Julian Assange political asylum, after the founder of the WikiLeaks website made the request at the country's embassy in London. British authorities say they will arrest Assange if he leaves the embassy.

Julian Assange walked into the Ecuadorian Embassy on Tuesday and has been staying there ever since. He spoke to a radio station in his native Australia from the embassy.

"Ecuador back in 2010 suggested that perhaps I should come to Ecuador and be given residency, so they are sympathetic over a long period of time so we hope that the asylum application will be viewed favorably," he said.

The Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa said his government was considering the asylum application.

"We'll take the time that is necessary because we're dealing with a very serious topic that we take on with absolute responsibility. However, in the meantime, Mr. Assange is in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and under the protection of the Ecuadorian state," he said.

Julian Assange founded the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, which published confidential files on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and thousands of U.S. cables sent between overseas diplomats and Washington.

Two Wikileaks volunteers in Sweden claim he attacked them in 2010. No charges have been filed.  Assange claims the sex was consensual.

Last week Britain's Supreme Court dismissed his attempt to reopen his extradition appeal. Assange claims the allegations are politically motivated and fears being extradited to the U.S.
His supporters have followed him throughout his legal battles and have now set up camp outside the embassy.

His move to request asylum appears to have caused some surprise. Among his supporters is Ben Griffin, a former soldier in the British Army.

"We found out that Julian was seeking asylum here at the Ecuadorian Embassy and we are supporting him through that process," he said. "We understand, we acknowledge, we know that he has some very powerful enemies so we are supporting him in this action."

British police say Julian Assange has breached his bail conditions by staying at the embassy. If his bid for asylum fails he faces arrest and some of his high profile friends who put up bail money could face big losses.

If Ecuador does give asylum to Julian Assange, analysts say it is likely to cause a serious rift in diplomatic relations between Britain and Ecuador.

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Comment Sorting
by: Bartolomeu Capita from: Switzerland
June 25, 2012 8:42 AM
"You have to start with the truth. The truth is the only way that we can get anywhere. Because any decision-making that is based upon lies or ignorance can't lead to a good conclusion." - Julian Assange
In Response

by: john doe from: USA
June 26, 2012 7:09 AM
The Truth? You can't handle the Truth.

by: Lee from: Melbourne
June 25, 2012 1:20 AM
Assange deliberately gave up to the criminal Taliban the names of Afghans who had informed on a regime committed to bombing schools and throwing acid in the faces of girls who want schooling (among the Taliban's various crimes).
Assange has also falsely claimed to be more at risk of extradition to the US from Sweden, when in fact he and his legal team knows the UK (where he has been for years) has a stronger extradition treaty with the US. This lie is simply used to justify avoiding questioning over sexual assault allegations in Sweden.
Moreover, Assange's lawyer, Ben Emmerson, has admitted Assange had sex with a sleeping woman without a condom, expressly against her wishes.
These are all actions of a morally reprehensible character, and please note they are *not* representative of the vast majority of Australian leftists.
In Response

by: Raymond from: Bern
June 25, 2012 6:23 PM
Ben Emmerson has made NO such admission in ANY statement about Assange in ANY statement to ANYONE, EVER!

It's blatant disinformation like yours that makes organizations like WikiLeaks so important. Assange has only ever published facts, and none of these factual documents have ever been disputed by ANYONE. Whereas your Shameful politically motivated misinformation can be dismissed out of hand.

by: Bill
June 24, 2012 11:17 PM
The United States government has been hijacked by heartless, murderous criminals.
Thank you Ecuador for being a beacon of light in this time of darkness.

by: Franchesca from: Virginia
June 24, 2012 11:13 PM
If I would have money to bail him, I would sure better forget about that money rather than Julian die somewhere in US prison...

by: Holly from: Ecuador
June 24, 2012 4:57 PM
Julian you can come and live with me, I think your wonderful. I am a good cook and I like the way you dance. Please bring all your secrets too. I love gossip. We will have a so much fun. It will be exciting. I have your room ready.

by: J Yuna from: USA
June 24, 2012 4:36 PM
If they gfive this piece of human waste asylum, America should stoppall trade, all aid and then send in the Seals to hunt this freak down and execute him. He is another liberal drone that thinks he is not responsbile to anyone but his own sick little world and freakish followers....if they are Americans, draft them all and show them the world beyond their screens and little socialist delusions.

Assange is no man, not even a journalist, and nor a hero...he symbolizes what happens when a man has no soul and believes himself better than God or civilization. The coward runs...that says it all. If he was innocent he would not and stand his ground. The idiots thinking the USA is behind this entire episode are plain naive and stupid.

ANd if any of us veterans ever see this piece of garbage on the street, he will have to find another palce to run before we rip his cowardly form apart....he risked our lives...time we put him in the same risk world. No matter where he goes, and how long it takes, Assange marked himself not only as a coward but as a murderer, accessory or not. Him paring a woman is no surprise judging by his profile...a loser all of the way.
In Response

by: Alex
June 26, 2012 6:58 AM
First off, look at your name, it sounds like a terrorist name - J. Yuna. Maybe the USA should hunt you down. Oh wait, they already have been hunting their people down for years now. Keep living in your tiny little bubble and when you wake up and smell the coffee let us all know. Its sad your tiny little brain can only comprehend so much. Thank you Correa for standing up to these murderous criminals running the United States government. Someone has too!
In Response

by: Portulaca from: Cali
June 26, 2012 5:26 AM
From what I gathered from this whole affair is that Assange showed documents that highlighted corruption in the US Gov''t and that's why they want him. We Americans hope to fix the problem every time we vote but the corruption just grows. Our media fails to report the facts. They spout corporate agenda and opinion. They are no longer unbiased, hence the treatment of Ron Paul. They totally ignored his campaign and misreported his numbers they excluded him from all their charts of the campaign so alot of America had no clue who he was. Not to mention the illegal shenanigans the RNC got up to during the primarys. So to all my fellow humans out there please realize we are all being lied to and are all just people dealing with a bad situation with no representation
In Response

by: EM from: USA
June 25, 2012 4:26 PM
Don't listen to Adam as he is a coward like Assange and his cronies. Hang Assange for treason!!
In Response

by: Adam from: USA
June 25, 2012 10:36 AM
Please don't listen to this horrible troll, not everyone from my country is full of morons, I swear.

by: Jörg Schlüter from: Augsburg/Germany
June 24, 2012 4:32 PM
From what the media reported so far and his friends' interviews, it seems he hasn't warned them that their money could be forfeited? - "Listen, I just want you to know your money could as well be lost. I'll try to pay you back later if that happens..."

by: John Morgan from: Cyprus
June 24, 2012 2:11 PM
The Julian Assange and Bradley Manning case seems to be part of an American policy that seeks hegemony of cyberspace. Moves to control and access data stored by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, FaceBook, YouTube etc. appear to outsiders to be similar to the way China controls the flow of information. Americans seem to be brainwashed in a very similar way to Muslims, who are very paranoid about perceived threats to their ideology. This is an outsider's view. It is likely "insiders" see things in reverse. Which view is correct, is arguable.

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