Ecuador Grants WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Political Asylum


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BERTIL ERICSON/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) — Ecuador will grant political asylum for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the South American country’s foreign ministry announced on Thursday.

Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy on June 19, after a U.K. court declined to block his extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning in connection with alleged sexual assaults.

Assange has said he fears that Sweden will hand him over to the United States. WikiLeaks has released thousands of confidential U.S. documents on the web, including many State Department cables.

To get to Ecuador, however, Assange still has to get from the embassy, which is considered Ecuadorean soil, to an airport to board a flight to South America without being arrested by British police.

According to BBC News, a Foreign Office spokesman said on Wednesday that the U.K. government is “committed to reaching a mutually acceptable solution.”

The British government has also reportedly reminded the Ecuadorean government that under law it can revoke the diplomatic immunity of an embassy, which would enable officials to enter the building and apprehend Assange.

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