Ecuador grants asylum to WikiLeaks’ Assange
Ecuador granted Julian Assange asylum over fears of political persecution Thursday, but it was hardly a reprieve as Britain vowed to extradite the WikiLeaks founder to Sweden to face questioning on sex crime charges.
Assange, the publisher of hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. government documents, has been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since June.
Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño said Thursday there is credible fear that if Assange is sent to Sweden, he could be subsequently be extradited to the United States, where he could be charged with espionage and treason.
In the United States, there are no guarantees that Assange would receive a fair trial or that he wouldn’t be subject to a military or secret tribunal, Patiño added.
“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.
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