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

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.