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Assange to Receive Asylum in Ecuador

Assange to Receive Asylum in Ecuador

Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks who has been fighting extradition to Sweden on charges of sexual abuse, will be granted asylum in Ecuador, according to reports.

The move marks yet another turn in the saga of Assange, but leaves almost as many questions as it answers. Assange remains in the Ecuadoran embassy in London, where he is under the country’s diplomatic protection. However, Assange has violated provisions of his bail, and British officials have indicated they will arrest Assange if he leaves the embassy or tries to depart from the country.

Furthermore, the move could put U.S. aid to Ecuador in jeopardy. It will also damage the relationship between Ecuador and both Sweden and the U.K.

For Assange to leave the country, Ecuador will need to either find a way to spirit Assange out of the country without discovery by British officials — something that is highly unlikely — or Ecuador will need to successfully negotiate for Assange’s release.

Ecuador’s decision to grant Assange asylum is not surprising. Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa has been an outspoken advocate of the anti-American gadfly. According to a report by CNet, Assange had actually been offered asylum some time before he requested it.

Assange rose to prominence after founding Wikileaks, a website dedicated to sharing leaks from nations and corporations. His organization played a pivotal role in releasing classified information regarding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that was allegedly leaked by U.S. Army PFC Bradley Manning.

While Assange has been praised by many for his willingness to publish sensitive information, he has also been criticized for working with governments that are not friendly to their local media, including hosting a show on RT, a channel operated by the Russian government.

In 2010, a European Arrest Warrant was issued, requiring Assange to be extradited to Sweden over allegations of sexual assault involving two women. Assange has fought extradition while in England, but his appeals in the British legal system were rejected. On June 19, Assange sought asylum in the Ecuadoran embassy.

Assange has said that he is unwilling to go to Sweden because he fears the U.S. will extradite him from the Scandinavian nation to face espionage charges. However, departing for the relatively unstable Ecuador has its own risks. Correa survived a coup attempt in 2010, and he has alleged the attack had its genesis in the CIA. While the Correa government has guaranteed Assange’s safety, it’s anyone’s guess what future Ecuadoran governments might think about their high-profile Australian exile.

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120 comments

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8:37PM PDT on Aug 22, 2012

Thanks for sharing.

9:06AM PDT on Aug 20, 2012

Paula, nobody is calling anyone "sluts", defending rape or listening to only one side of the story. The point is, Assange knows he will be extradited if he returns to Sweden. If Sweden promised him he would not be extradited to the US I'm sure he would go to Sweden to face these trumped up accusations that weren't reported until MUCH AFTER they occurences but they refuse to guarantee that and cannot legally do so. The vigour with which they are pursuing him alone is an indication of what the ultimate motivation in this case is. Read some of the previous postings to get the other side too. Nobody here is defending his character, only decrying the surreptitious actions of corrupt governments. What if accusations were made against YOU that defamed your character (what better way than sexual charges abhored by all) could leave you facing life in prison or execution especially IF they were untrue but someone had reason to vehemently "get even" with you? This prosecution must be fair & not a vendetta!

4:48AM PDT on Aug 20, 2012

As others have already commented this is yet another "Filthy" attempt by the CURRENT US government headed by Obama, Clinton etc. who want Julian Assange extradited to America and put on a "show trial" (as is happing to Bradley Manning) and by doing, as their predecessor Republican Administration did before to cover up their's and other's corruption, murder and lies from us all.

1:42AM PDT on Aug 20, 2012

Don't Shoot The Messenger!

8:07PM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

Listen to yourselves. "It's all a government conspiracy." "It didn't happen." "She really said yes." We're all for hanging rapists from the highest tree until he turns out to be someone whom we're egging on to take on the Man.

Never mind that it's questionable how much good Assange's Wikileaks scandal did in the first place. Assange has already admitted to having sex with at least one of the women, but claims the sex was consensual. So, we know at least some of what the Swedish government claims is true. We just don't know how much of it is true and we will continue not to know until Assange goes back to Sweden and faces those charges (He could be acquitted, you know). He's not facing something vague and dumb like the disrupting-the-peace charges Pussy Riot faced in Russia. He's facing charges of rape. And he's getting a whole lot more support than Pussy Riot, who are getting called whores, and told they deserve to be raped in prison, all over the Internet.

So, excuse me for pointing out the double standard. Don't let me stop you from continuing to slut-shame, whether it's Assange's alleged victims or Pussy Riot, when it suits you.

11:48AM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

I am deeply ashamed that the government of my country has threatened to ignore diplomatic immunity and arrest Assange anyway. Well done Equador, I only hope that your stand doesn't cause you more trouble than you have bargained for!

11:14AM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

Berny, not to sound incredulous but where are you hearing these things about Assange? I'm sincerely curious. Is it from US news sources they are no doubt designed to make him sound that way. The point is, why did these women come out of the woodwork all of a sudden, never go to the police or hospital at the time & spend the entire night with him? What a coincidence that one of the women had connections to Karl Rove!!! A set-up perhaps.Then they suddenly materialize AFTER the Wikileaks scandal came out & not just any Wikileaks revelations but the specific ones that embarrassed the US for its unscrupulous activities? Why did he also readily consent to be interviewed by Swedish authorities in England but they refused to do so?
Why were the people he exposed not brought to justice for THEIR crimes? Why is he SO wanted on a trumped up charge that the UK & US are both willing to break laws to capture him by raiding a diplomatic embassy? Wgat is the best way to assassinate someone's character & make him unpalatable to the people & press? Sexual perversion charges! Think about these things. I don't care if he drowns puppies. That is not what this is about. It's about governments breaking the law & corruption at the highest levels & being caught at it.

8:42AM PDT on Aug 19, 2012

The more I hear about Assange, the more he sounds like a sociopathic creep with a desperate and constant need for attention.

If there are rape charges against him, he needs to go face them.

Or is rape only bad if we don't like the guy?

VERY VERY TRUE!

3:56PM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

Good luck Assange. I support you and your efforts

11:31AM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

He will be arrested immediately he leaves the Ecuadorian Embassy.

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