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Assange remains hidden in Ecuadorian embassy

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange remains hidden in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he is seeking political asylum.

Stuart Thomas: Senior Reporter
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself... More

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The man behind the well-known cable-leaking site turned to the embassy after the UK Supreme Court refused to reopen his appeal against extradition to Sweden over alleged sex charges.

Assange denies any guilt in relation to the sex charges, but is afraid that Swedish authorities will hand him over to the US, where he will be treated unfairly.

According to the BBC however, Swedish authorities claim that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) would intervene if Assange was to face the prospect of “inhuman or degrading treatment or an unfair trial” in the US.

The Eucuadorian embassy released a statement, explaining how it was handling the situation:

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.

Assange may have made the decision to turn to Ecuador because its deputy foreign minister offered him residency there in 2010. The offer was however rescinded shortly thereafter by the country’s president.

Freedom House ranks Ecuador as “partly free” when it comes to press freedom, with Global Edge ranking it at 95th in the world.

According to the Telegraph, Ecuador is seriously considering Assange’s application. “Ecuador is studying and analysing the request,” said Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino from the country’s capital Quito.

  • The Infamous Stuart Thomas

    Stuart Thomas, Wikileaks is “famous”, not infamous. Wikileaks is guilty of absolutely no crime. Neither is Assange.

  • http://twitter.com/Stu_Thom4s Stuart Thomas

    Fair call. Infamous denotes a certain stance — US authorities, for instance, would consider both Assange and Wikileaks infamous”. I would argue, however, that Famous also denotes a position. In its original form, to be “famed” for something denoted achievement. Thus Wikileaks would be famous among its supporters. Let’s settle on well-known shall we?