Ecuador Seeking End To Julian Assange Embassy Stay

Frederick Owens
January 12, 2018

Ecuador is exploring options to secure safe passage for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange from its London embassy, the country's FM said.

Quito/London: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was "naturalised" as an Ecuadorean in December, at his request, Ecuador's foreign minister said on Thursday, adding that she was seeking a "dignified and just" solution to his situation with Britain.

Ecuador gave Assange political asylum after he sought refuge in its London embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden to face a rape allegation, which he denies.

Assange had also resisted being questioned in Sweden over the rape allegation out of fear that he might be extradited to the USA over Wikileaks' exposure of classified documents.

Assange had been wanted on assault claims in Sweden, but that case against him has been dropped. Assange later taunted after Lasso's loss that he would "cordially invite Lasso to leave Ecuador within 30 days".

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"The UK did not grant that request, nor are we in talks with Ecuador on this matter". Ecuador has repeatedly urged Assange not to interfere in the affairs of other countries following his frequent online comments on worldwide issues. However, he is still facing an arrest warrant in London for failure to surrender to the court in 2012.

The United States still wants to prosecute Julian Assange under the Espionage Act of 1917.

June 2013: After a year at the Embassy, Assange fears there are fresh moves being put in place to extradite him.

In January, days after announcing it is seeking a mediator to resolve the standoff with Britain, Ecuador says it has granted Assange citizenship. The Ecuadoran Foreign Ministry at first responded that it would not address "rumors or distorted or out-of-context information", Germany's DPA news agency reported. According to London's Metropolitan Police, he will be arrested if he leaves the embassy building. A United Nations panel ruled in 2016 that he was being "arbitrarily detained" and should be allowed to walk free.

Following reports of the news in Ecuadorean media on Wednesday, Assange tweeted a photo of himself wearing the jersey of Ecuador's national soccer team.

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