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

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

US Urges Taliban to Stay With Afghan Peace Talks

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

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.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs