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Ecuador 'won't yield' to pressure: president

AFP/The Local · 11 Jul 2012, 07:17

Published: 11 Jul 2012 07:17 GMT+02:00

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"We will consult with everyone we need to, but we will make a sovereign decision on whether or not to grant asylum to the Australian, Julian Assange," he said in an interview with local television station RTS.

Since last month, Assange has been holed up in Quito's embassy in London, seeking political asylum to avoid being extradited to Sweden on rape charges.

Correa said he had "great respect" for London, for Stockholm and for Washington but that Ecuador would not allow those governments to dictate its decision on whether or not to grant Assange political asylum.

He said the mere possibility that Assange could face capital punishment in the United States could be reason enough for his government to grant Assange's asylum petition, if there was a chance he could end up there.

"If Assange's life is at risk, that is sufficient cause to approve his asylum," the leftist leader said, noting that "the death penalty exists in the United States for political crimes."

Quito has said it is reviewing the allegations of sexual misconduct against Assange as it weighs the request. Assange maintains he had consensual sexual relations with the alleged Swedish victims.

As he weighs his decision, Correa said his government would "examine what the charges are in Sweden, how the judicial process is carried out, and if it is compatible with the humanist vision of justice that we have in Ecuador."

Story continues below…

The WikiLeaks website and Assange enraged the United States by publishing a flood of secret information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The site's founder fears that if his is sent to Sweden he could subsequently be re-extradited to the United States to stand trial for espionage, on account of the 250,000 leaked US diplomatic cables that were published.

Ecuador's Correa has often been at odds with Washington and offered Assange asylum in 2010.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:17 July 11, 2012 by LiborPeck
If Julian Assange created Wikileaks to change the world, then we as supporters can change this injustice.

As an American supporter, I believe that if Julian Assange has taught us anything is honesty and transparency to organizations, both corporate and political. This case completely shows the abuse of human rights and the law system and has to be changed.

All supporters from all over the world, including Australian supporters, we must take immediate action towards this from happening.

More information on the case :http://www.SwedenVersusAssange.com/

Petite Pointer

Fort Worth, TX
11:33 July 11, 2012 by S.J.
Ecuador are certainly milking this for all its worth. Who could've thought that a simple answer of yes/no could be dragged out so needlessly.

This is less & less about Julian Assange's application for asylum & more about the "humanist vision of justice" Ecuador reckon they have in comparision with the US, Britian & Sweden. Ecuador hasnt has so much press since...well, ever.

*le sigh*
13:03 July 11, 2012 by Carbarrister
Translation: Ecuador will try to use the Assange issue to extract more foreign aid from the US. For Ecuador Assange is a useful tool.
15:33 July 11, 2012 by prince T
I hear you at @sj. it is a matter of yes or no.

Ecuador is just using this case to get attention or do some deals. ecuador is having her 15 minutes fame with assange case.

i am still watching to see how he will be taken out of uk in a diplomatic car to the airport and then put on a diplomatic plane. this case is becoming a comedy.
16:43 July 11, 2012 by oldonpalouse
Is Sweden still harboring WL's servers and storage?

The US waited a long time to get Osama Ben Laden, we can wait a while to get this immature egotist and his followers.
20:04 July 11, 2012 by sgt_doom
The Financial-Intelligence-Complex which has long ruled Amerika takes the dumping of those State Dept. cables as a personal affront.

After all, should anyone actually read them, it becomes painfully obvious that the foreign service and US foreign aid organizations primarily promote the welfare of the multinationals, and only the multinationals!

And in Amerika, we are presented with the bizarre propaganda like that below:

20:19 July 11, 2012 by Uncle
I am actually enjoying the entire story.

Assange is obviously guilty of espionage just for the simple fact that if the thousands of documents would be quietly delivered to Russia or China and not published, everyone would agree that it is an act of a spy.

I also believe that even if Swedish soft courts want him for trial, they have a good reason for that. It is obvious that when one faces the wrath of some 25 governments in the world, raping a girl or two seems like a cute and not much harming stress reliever that everyone would address as a "witch hunt".

The fact is that the life of this guy is over and he knows it. Not because the evil, evil US and A are searching for him. ANY government can send a killer that would shoot Assange in the face in a middle of a day and every finger will turn at USA!

I bet that Assange is a #1 target even for Chavez, Al Qaida, Taliban, Iran and Syria who could benefit from an "American killer". They would be the first to condemn the Great Devil! China and Russia would also not mind removing him, given the documents that he continues to publish.

It is just a matter of time who gets to him first! Perhaps he would be safest in an FBI run prison.
21:20 July 11, 2012 by smilingjack
nice to hear that the USA ( who has no interest apparently ) is applying pressure. The world needs to stand up to the worlds worst tyrants and inflictor of pain and misery around the world - the USA.

by the by its usama - not osama and he kicked the USA's butt well and truly. he could have crashed into nuclear reactors killing millions of civilians but hit the nail right on the head. The USA is still in turmoil and going down fast with no money to rebuild. He let them get him. An unarmed 54 yo man living the life of a peasant assinated by a hit squad who still manged to botch the job. There is no video because it would embarrass the USA. He will be remembered forever as the man who brought down the USA. The USA are and will be known as the most violent, subversive, oppressive nation in the history of the world.
21:20 July 11, 2012 by je_proteste
Is president Correa finally admitting that he is being pressured by the US? Will Sweden's government ever be that honest?
21:41 July 11, 2012 by foxpur
@je_proteste: Well, realistically speaking, that Sweden is the one who has put up the warrant (regardless of the pros/cons of the case) they have every reason to put pressure on Ecuador. Even if the case comes up to nothing in Sweden, Assange HAS broken several laws in avoiding going to Sweden... so even if no one wants him in Sweden OR the US after the case itself... broken laws still are an issue in UK and Sweden.
22:37 July 11, 2012 by bcterry
You got it Uncle.
00:02 July 12, 2012 by Ian C. Purdie - Sydney
@21:20 July 11, 2012 by smilingjack

"The USA are and will be known as the most violent, subversive, oppressive nation in the history of the world"

I would have said a rogue, terrorist nation which, not only breaks international law with impunity, but represents the most serious threat to world peace since Nazi Germany of the late 1930's.

Everywhere their dead hand goes, chaos, misery and tragedy ensue nd so few Americans feel deep shame. Ditto for all the poodle following nations, including Australia.

Times are a changing though, the US dollar is increasingly being sidelined in world trade and that will become their death knell. No longer will they be able to literally "print money" to pay for international trade.
11:07 July 12, 2012 by Uncle
@Ian C. Purdie - Sydney


With time, one starts to understand that US indeed needs Bushes and not Obamas, since every softening of the international behaviour of the US is seen as "crumbling".

Anyhow, it is also quite nice to see how terror promoters (and in smilingjack example it is not even an allegory, but a pure admiration with Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden, as he is named in Wikipedia is surely does not sit well with The Local conditions) are not educated enough to separate different events like 9/11, invasion into Iraq and financial crisis as totally independent events.

It is good to know that the OTHER side is dominated by imbacilles, who cannot logically understand cause and effect processes.

But frankly, what would be REALLY nice is if USA would implement a policy of isolationism. THEN the world would definetely become better.

African and muslim rulers as well as China would finally get their hands free. Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Taiwan, Hong-Kong would seize to exist (not needed countries anyways). The dream of a second Jewish holocaust that the islamic world cherishes would come true and with that a real struggle between S. Arabia and Egypt against Iran would come to it's critical point. Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria will become a baren land used for troop transport only, whereas the palestinians will be hanging on trees and shoved into concentration camps by the shia.

Central Asia would finally get into a bloodiest war in its history. Absolutely the entire Africa above Namibia would finally drown in rivers of blood. Koreas will be united and Japan would experience the nuclear winter from ex-N. Korea. Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania would return to their rightful Russian owner. Afganistan will be in sharia peace (achieved with a couple of million dead of course).

The world would FINALLY become better!!!
16:44 July 13, 2012 by cogito
@Uncle, It's called "Hope n' Change." ;-D

@Ian C. Purdie - Sydney (#12), Please take your medication like the lady i white asked.
19:29 July 13, 2012 by johnperry
As I understand it, Sweden are requesting his extradition so that they can question him about alleged sex crimes in order to decide whether there is a case to answer. So in that case, why not send Swedish police to London to question him there?
12:34 July 21, 2012 by Fred Johnsson
Since last month, Assange has been holed up . . .

Could someone at The Local take a grammar lesson and do som spell checking on conjugating irregular verbs?

I thought it was HELD UP !

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