WikiLeaks' Assange granted asylum in Ecuador
Internet gadfly had been previously holed up in Ecuadoran embassy in London
Daring to share confidential information in the Internet age, WikiLeak's
mastermind Julian Assange has finally been granted asylum in Ecuador.
Assange had previously been hiding in the Ecuadoran embassy in London
since June. Great Britain has since vowed to extradite Assange to Sweden
in order to face sex crime charges.
The British maintain that one of their laws allows for the country to enter the embassy and arrest WikiLeaks' Julian Assange.
"The Ecuadorian government, after carrying out a fair and objective analysis of the situation presented by Mr. Assange and evaluating his oral and written arguments, has decided that there's cause to presume that he could be the target of political persecution or that such persecution could happen if no timely and necessary measures are taken to prevent it," Patiño said.
Ecuador asked Britain to guarantee safe passage for Assange and to respect its decision. U.K. officials said it was disappointed by the decision and will continue to pursue Assange's arrest and extradition.
"We shall carry out that obligation. The Ecuadorian government's decision this afternoon does not change that," the U.K. Foreign Office said in a statement.
"I am grateful to the Ecuadorian people, President Rafael Correa and his government. It was not Britain or my home country, Australia, that stood up to protect me from persecution, but a courageous, independent Latin American nation," Assange said from the embassy.
A tug of war between the two nations continues. Patiño has warned against any British action against Ecuador's embassy in London, saying the Ecuadorian government had received a written notice from British authorities that they would "assault" the country's embassy in London if they fail to hand over Assange.
The British say one of their laws allows for the country to enter the embassy and arrest Assange. In reaction, Patiño cited a lengthy list of international treaties and conventions that he said make it clear that it is illegal to enter another country's embassy.
Ecuador has found that Assange has a credible fear of persecution for his ideas and politics.
"There are strong indications of retaliation by the country or countries who produced the information divulged by Mr. Assange, reprisals that could put at risk his security, integrity and even his life," the Ecuadorian government concluded.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, Ecuador, extradition
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