News / Europe

    Ecuador Grants Asylum to Assange

    British police stand outside Ecuador's embassy, where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is seeking asylum, London, August 16, 2012.
    British police stand outside Ecuador's embassy, where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is seeking asylum, London, August 16, 2012.
    VOA News
    Ecuador has granted asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, intensifying a political dispute involving Ecuador, Britain and Sweden.

    Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino announced the decision Thursday in Quito, saying Assange's personal security was at risk. He said Assange would not receive a fair trial if he is eventually extradited to the U.S.

    Key Dates in WikiLeaks

    2006: Set up by a group of people, including Australian Julian Assange
    2008: Publishes Sarah Palin hacked emails
    2009: Posts thousands of text messages from U.S. emergency workers and military personnel from September 11, 2001
    2010: Releases hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. military documents and diplomatic cables
    2011: Assange appeals extradition from Britain to Sweden on sex crime charges
    2012: British court upholds extradition of Assange, who takes refuge in Ecuador's embassy in London.  Ecuador grants him asylum in August
    Britain Foreign Secretary William Hague said Britain will not give Assange safe passage out of Britain and is determined to extradite him to Sweden.

    Assange is wanted in Sweden for questioning in connection with sexual assault allegations. He has denied those accusations.

    Following the decision, Sweden summoned Ecuador's Stockholm-based ambassador. A Swedish government spokesman said it is "unacceptable" that Ecuador is trying to halt Sweden's judicial process.

    One of Assange's lawyers urged a Swedish prosecutor to come to London to interrogate the WikiLeaks founder, saying it is no longer possible to question him in Sweden because he has been granted asylum.

    Assange took refuge in Ecuador's embassy in London nearly two months ago after losing a legal battle to fight extradition to Sweden.

    Outside the Ecuadorian embassy Thursday, British police tussled with protesters chanting slogans in support of Assange. At least three protesters were arrested.

    Ecuadorian officials have accused Britain of threatening to storm Ecuador's embassy to arrest Assange. Britain has warned of using a law that would allow it to revoke the embassy's diplomatic status.

    Assange fears Sweden could send him to the United States to face possible charges related to the 2010 release of hundreds of thousands of classified documents, including diplomatic cables held by the U.S. State Department about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.


    You May Like

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Al Dorman from: Baltimore
    August 17, 2012 11:33 AM
    We all need to celebrate this brave decision by doing more tourism in Ecuador!

    by: Fred from: NY
    August 16, 2012 12:50 PM
    This seems to be a cat and mouse game. The story so far is that an organization exposes possible corruption, behind the scene deals, and pretty much makes a few world powers irate. Then without fail we have two people claiming a sexual abuse occurred. Now was this an attempt to discredit the aforementioned organization, probably. Now we have the leader of the organization trying to avoid the said world powers he made irate. It seems for him the best option was to go to a country that really doesn’t like world powers’ actions or politics. It is a smart move of the mouse, but I am sure the cat will eventually win.

    We as the general public do not know the true story of events from both sides of this case. The leader of the organization could have sexually abused the parties involved. He could have released the information about the world powers for other reason then to make information open to the public. Or this could be a case, that if you are whistleblower about a government you better make sure you have an exit strategy. In any event, if you are for or against either party this would make a great movie.

    by: dubkemps
    August 16, 2012 11:26 AM
    Democracy Now! reports on the latest in Assange's bid for asylum, speaking with Michael Ratner, an attorney on Assange's legal team, and several of his supporters. http://www.democracynow.org/topics/julian_assange

    by: Chris from: New York
    August 16, 2012 10:30 AM
    I sincerely hope Mr. Assange is able to escape England and ultimately live in moderate safety in Ecuador.

    Let's follow the path to it's source - it is not he who threatens the security of other countries, it is those who's corruption and hypocrisy he exposes who do. That Mr. Assange has exposed these people for who they are, at grave expense to his own safety, makes him a hero in my book.

    Our country would be far better served by throwing most of our corrupt leaders in prison than Julian Assange or Bradley Manning.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora