• Sweden edition
 
ASSANGE EXTRADITION FIGHT
Assange seeks political asylum in Ecuador

Assange seeks political asylum in Ecuador

Published: 20 Jun 2012 07:15 GMT+02:00
Updated: 20 Jun 2012 07:15 GMT+02:00

The former computer hacker, who last week exhausted all his legal options in Britain to fight extradition, was holed up at the embassy in central London while Quito examined the request, officials said.

Britain's Foreign Office said Assange was "beyond the reach of the police" because he was on diplomatic territory, but stressed it would seek to work with the Ecuadorian authorities "to resolve this situation as soon as possible."

Assange will remain at the embassy under the protection of the Ecuadorian government while his application is considered.

"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," the embassy said in a statement.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Tuesday that Australia will continue to offer consular assistance to Assange.

"Australia will continue to support Mr. Assange just as we do support any Australian overseas who faces legal difficulties or dilemmas," Gillard told reporters after a Group of 20 summit in Mexico.

Assange confirmed in a statement he was seeking "diplomatic sanctuary and political asylum" and expressed his gratitude to the Ecuadorian ambassador and government for considering the request.

In Quito, Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said: "Julian Assange has requested political asylum at the diplomatic mission of Ecuador in London.

"The government is examining the request."

The embassy later confirmed it would be seeking the views of Britain, Sweden and the United States in order to make sure it complied with international law.

Assange has always maintained that the moves to extradite him to Sweden for questioning over allegations of rape and sexual assault are politically motivated and that the real aim is for him to be handed over to US authorities.

The silver-haired 40-year-old Australian's website enraged Washington by releasing a flood of classified US information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It also published more than 250,000 classified US diplomatic cables, revealing often candid assessments of a huge range of issues as well as the views of other governments.

Ecuador offered Assange residency in 2010, with the government saying at the time it wanted to invite Assange to speak in Ecuador after expressing concern about some of the alleged US activities revealed by Wikileaks.

Assange interviewed Ecuador's President Rafael Correa for his talk show aired on the Russian international television station RT in April.

The embassy is in the upmarket west London district of Knightsbridge, near to Harrods department store and in the same mansion block as the Colombian embassy.

A supporter of Assange, Jemima Khan, the former wife of Pakistan politician Imran Khan, said on Twitter she was "as surprised as anyone" by the move and had expected him to face the allegations in Sweden.

The request for asylum came after Britain's Supreme Court last week rejected an application by Assange to reopen his appeal against extradition.

The decision closed Assange's last legal avenue in Britain, although he could still take his case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg.

The court said extradition proceedings could not begin for two weeks.

Assange's lawyers have until June 28 to apply to the Strasbourg court to consider his case on the basis that he has not had a fair hearing from the British courts.

In the United States, soldier Bradley Manning is facing trial over accusations that he handed a huge cache of documents to WikiLeaks.

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

09:05 June 20, 2012 by Tammybonny
stupid man.. should have gone to the argentine embassy....how interesting that would be.... :-)
09:47 June 20, 2012 by klubbnika
Good riddance.
10:01 June 20, 2012 by gpafledthis
Well here is sweedie foreign office chance to shine (1st you have to pull it OUT) there heads UP !! Ecuador has jungles that need demolishing (offer 3 volvos the real big suckers) chance for national outrage too !! Want to hear old guys giggle/chortle ?? Tune into the USA !! Rendition we provide "Con Air" too !!
10:11 June 20, 2012 by Nilspet
Hard to predict the outcome but it can go Assange's way because Ecuador can even give him a citizenship if it wants to do so. Sweden has granted citizenships to foreigners who are fugitives in their countries of origin and certainly things got complicated.
10:12 June 20, 2012 by smilingjack
the whole world knows these 2 slappers have concocted the whole story at the insistance of the USA and that the swedes will hand him over to their bosses - the usa - in the blink of an eye.

keep fighting Julian the intelligent communities of the world support you.
10:18 June 20, 2012 by gpafledthis
Keep smilin jack !! ya got it right "don't fight city hall" must be typo - it's "the intelligence communities.............support us(US) observe Viet Nam you can lose by winning !! Ya hear NV offered us DaNang back ???
10:53 June 20, 2012 by Dazzler
Uncle Leon, I await your orders.
11:40 June 20, 2012 by radamanthys
it's sad to realise just how cosy Sweden's relationship with neo-con America has become..........are the Swedish public suddenly blind?
11:46 June 20, 2012 by Rebel
Oh shucks, does this mean Obama will not accept Reinfeld's friend request on Facebook?

Oh well, Bildt still go this picture with Hilary so he can at least be happy.
12:06 June 20, 2012 by klubbnika
The female employees at the embassy should be worried.
12:32 June 20, 2012 by Jules
Man up Mr Assange, go face the judgement of your peers. What have you to fear from an open court with the worlds media watching in a liberal democracy? Unless you are indeed a cowardly rapist trying to squirm his way out of justice!
13:46 June 20, 2012 by smilingjack
hard to man up when sycophantic sweden desperate for a bit of international attention will hand him over to the worlds most notorious kidnappers, mass murderers and torturers. what little credibility sweden had on the world stage is just about gone. be afraid Julian. Be very afraid. Ive be making sure people in other countries know just how far up the USA's bum the swedes are. Go and get those american flag shoes, scarfs, jumpers and pants on folks. I was out and about on your national day and didnt see a single swedish flag but saw hundreds of american flags. how embarrassing.
14:39 June 20, 2012 by Dazzler
Do you morons realize it would be easier for the US to extradite this fool from the UK? If America wanted him, he would be in GITMO or dead and buried by now.
14:41 June 20, 2012 by unionisten
smilingjack you must stop using those pills you see conspiracys everywhere

sweden cant hand the coward over to usa and thats it,

the coward is just trying to escape justice and he has showed us that he is spineless
18:41 June 20, 2012 by Tarc the Mexan
Assange is quickly becoming a parody of himself.
08:15 June 22, 2012 by hawkeye ajustralia
How stupid are these people who think the US concocted this with those 2 girls?

First off the U.S. has an extradition treaty with the UK which is much more pro U.S. than Sweden.

Assange has got himself a get out of jail card,because anytime he is arrested for a legitimate offence he can claim the U.S.is behind it.

Also it's amazing that he is now whining about the Australian government not helping him,which incidentally is not true. He leaks confidential information about Australian military and diplomatic secrets and then turns around and want's help from the government he is undermining.

Additionally he has done damage to the American government _Assange just like the rest of the free world lives under the protection of the U.S.Military and the U.S. Government .yet Assange want's to bring it down. What a cretin!

Assange is just a coward who refuses to face his accusers-the CIA stuff is all rubbish and you twits actually believe it.

Oh and just to prove what a loser he is -his friends ponied up I believe something around $750,000 for his bail and they will now lose it. So that's the person you believers are rooting for.
Today's headlines
Late summer sun set to hit Sweden

Late summer sun set to hit Sweden

Forecasters have predicted sunshine across Sweden this week, with a warm front moving in from Russia and temperatures of up to 25C. READ  

International police hunt
Swedish killer arrested after European hunt
Photo: Police

Swedish killer arrested after European hunt

UPDATED: Police arrested a man on Tuesday afternoon after he went missing from a psychiatric ward in western Sweden at the weekend. The man had been convicted of murdering a five-year-old schoolgirl in 2003. READ  

Music
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Swedish singer Tove Lo. Photot: TT

The five best Swedish songs of the month

The summer may be (almost) over but the music will keep on playing here at The Local. Our resident music guru Paul Connolly will be selecting his top new Swedish tracks for us in a new monthly feature. READ  

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

African pygmy hedgehogs are being bought by growing numbers of Swedes, as a trend for keeping exotic pets sweeps the country, the Department for Animal Welfare and Health tells The Local. READ  

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden
The mushroom in this picture is not the same as the one from the story. Photo: Shutterstock

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden

A person selling freshly-picked mushrooms in Gothenburg has come under fire after it turned out the delicacies were not only poisonous but also hallucinogenic. READ  

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

The largest hacking case in Danish history began in confusion on Tuesday, after lawyers representing Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg accused the prosecution of "unreasonable" tactics. READ  

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

As H&M expands into Ethiopia, Sweden's state venture capital unit Swedfund has announced that it will back the clothing giant, in a move hoped to create more jobs for local women. READ  

Elections 2014
Social Democrats reveal election manifesto
Photo: TT

Social Democrats reveal election manifesto

UPDATED: Sweden's main opposition party the Social Democrats has revealed its election manifesto at a press conference at a high school in Stockholm, with a key focus on education and welfare benefits. READ  

Teen run over by train after 'shoplifting' chase

Teen run over by train after 'shoplifting' chase

A teenage boy is in a critical condition after he was hit by a passing metro train in Stockholm. The accident ground rail traffic to a halt, and has police suspecting attempted murder. READ  

Swimrun
Record win at Sweden's tough island race
Photo: Jakob Edholm/ÖTILLÖ14

Record win at Sweden's tough island race

Two Swedes crushed last year's course record at the Swimrun world championship in Stockholm's archipelago on Monday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
National
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
Politics
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Blog updates

02 September

America night (Blogweiser) »

" There was an event this weekend for the ‘Americans in Sweden’ Facebook group. I’m a member, and I brought my girls to the evening. The gathering was at a Boston-themed sportsbar in a mall. There were loads of screens, a bowling alley, a game room and a jumbotron. It was as good a place as any to..." READ »

 

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
How immigration became a key election issue
Society
Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

757
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se