WikiLeaks founder seeks political asylum at Ecuadorian Embassy in London

By Lee Kaelin on June 20, 2012, 9:30 AM

The long running legal battle to extradite WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange to Sweden to face sex crime allegations took a turn on Tuesday evening after he walked into the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and requested political asylum under the United Nations Human Rights Declaration.

Assange stands accused by the Swedish government of raping one woman and sexually molesting another, both of which he has strongly denied. He was due to be extradited to Sweden in nine days after the UK Supreme Court ruled on May 30 that it was lawful and could go ahead.

Before walking into the Embassy he had been on bail and living with friends in Norfolk. The move comes just over a week after the court refused his requests to re-open the case to have his extradition to Sweden blocked. Should his plead for asylum be unsuccessful he faces arrest by British Police for breaching his bail terms by not returning to his bail address between the hours of 10pm and 8am.

In a letter sent to Ecuador's government, 40 year old Assange said his native country, Australia and its government had "effectively abandoned" him and was "ignoring the obligation to protect its citizen, who is persecuted politically." WikiLeaks' posted a message on Twitter saying, "ALERT: Julian Assange has requested political asylum and is under the protection of the Ecuadorian embassy in London."

Assange also released a statement confirming the move and thanking the Ecuadorian government: "I can confirm that today I arrived at the Ecuadorian Embassy and sought diplomatic sanctuary and political asylum. This application has been passed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the capital Quito. I am grateful to the Ecuadorian ambassador and the government of Ecuador for considering my application."

The Eduadorian government released a statement (below) stating that Assange was now in the care of its government, and would remain there until his application has been processed.

This afternoon Mr Julian Assange arrived at the Ecuadorian Embassy seeking political asylum from the Ecuadorian government. As a signatory to the United Nations Universal Declaration for Human Rights, with an obligation to review all applications for asylum, we have immediately passed his application on to the relevant department in Quito.

While the department assesses Mr Assange's application, Mr Assange will remain at the embassy, under the protection of the Ecuadorian Government. The decision to consider Mr Assange's application for protective asylum should in no way be interpreted as the Government of Ecuador interfering in the judicial processes of either the United Kingdom or Sweden.

In order to reach a proper decision in line with international law on Mr Assange's application, the Ecuadorian government will be seeking the views of the governments of the United Kingdom, Sweden and the United States of America.

The Ecuadorian government will consider all the representations carefully as it is obliged to do under the accepted process in assessing such applications.




User Comments: 14

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Guest said:

Am I the only one than finds to much coincidence than he gets this charges just after releasing all that goverment info about dirty stuft?

It is a shame than they can do this in front of our own eyes. And to maybe the only guy than release this kind of info.

Tygerstrike said:

Wow this guy is doing everything he can in order to not go to jail. He has charges in Sweden, USA wants their shot at him, and he is getting no support from the UK. This guy either has the worst luck or he really is just that bad of a person. If someone had accused me of ANY crime that I didnt do, I would be fighting to clear my name, He just seems to want to find some nice place to hide. Kinda makes me wonder how innocent he really is.

He went to that embassy because of their extradition laws. Which makes me even more certain that he is prolly guilty of the crimes he is charged with. And before future posters start in on the good ole USA and how they make Sweden their little puppet just to get their hands on him.......Bin Ladin, Noriega, if USA wanted him badly enough they would just take him and make him disappear. Oh sure ppl would be up in arms, but that would blow over pretty quickly. Once the newest controversial issue popped up in the media, ppl would forget him.

TJGeezer said:

Wow this guy is doing everything he can in order to not go to jail. He has charges in Sweden, USA wants their shot at him, and he is getting no support from the UK. This guy either has the worst luck or he really is just that bad of a person.

Right. Because governments wanting his hide for revealing embarrassing but not strategically important truths about them couldn't possibly trump up charges to get revenge for the embarrassment. Politicians and government bureaucrats would never, ever be so petty. /dollop of sarcasm

Guest said:

No, he's clearly a very bad man, in happier times he would have been shot for treason.

Guest said:

I would be fighting to clear my name, He just seems to want to find some nice place to hide. Kinda makes me wonder how innocent he really is.

Prejudiced: to pre-judge.

Guest said:

First of all its not his country he spilled the beans over so no treason. He simply created a platform for people to tell about cover-ups , unfortunately the U.S has too many of those !

Secondly most other countries are so deep up the US rear ends that they have no choice but to cooperate.

The charges against him is absolutely absurd nonsense!

go read the whole story

Guest said:

we gotta help this guy

Rasta211 said:

I think he would fight to clear his name if had a chance at a fair trial.

It's quite possible these charges are fabricated to stop him. If the charges are true, well he's going up against people who are mainly interested in keeping him locked up and not getting "justice" for his sex charges.

carlwh123 said:

I think he would fight to clear his name if had a chance at a fair trial.

It's quite possible these charges are fabricated to stop him. If the charges are true, well he's going up against people who are mainly interested in keeping him locked up and not getting "justice" for his sex charges.

Exactly, if your opponent is way bigger than you and fights dirty and you're getting no support from anyone of power, why fight? Logically he should just keep running. What a life he's forced to live now, all because he's trying to expose truths - we can't have that!

Guest said:

All wrong. If he has really done nothing wrong, then he won't mind presenting himself for a fair trial - we're talking about Sweden, not the Third Reich!

carlwh123 said:

Abductive reasoning is failing here. What evidence has there ever been to suggest that he's a dangerous sexual predator who targets Swedish women? What evidence is there to suggest that many, many people would like to see him imprisoned permanently? For one thing, anybody who was ever outed on Wikileaks would.

He's a big public figure now, the jury would know of him, there would be substantial prejudice. I don't see any reasonable way in which he could be given a fair trial.

Guest said:

It doesn't really matter though, does it?

Guest said:

He should release more raping stuff, I mean, dirty stuff about the usa and friends.

Guest said:

Who should?

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