WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange got political asylum from the government of Ecuador on Thurday. The diplomatic ties between England and Ecuador have complicated following the grant of asylum. Assange had been staying in the Ecuadorian embassy in London from past few days to avoid being cornered and extradited by the London Police to Sweden on charges of sexual crimes.
Ecuadorean foreign minister Ricardo Patino announced the government decision of granting political asylum to Assange from Quito in an appearance made on TV.
Britain had already taken a stand prior to this development and has asserted that it has the authority to take Assange into custody even from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Britain also told of its helplessness citing legal compulsion behind its decision. After the news of asylum granting to Assange from Ecuador broke out, foreign office spokesperson of Britain said, “It (the granting of asylum) does not change our position. Our legal position is not changing at all.”
“Our position is that we have a duty to extradite him, even if he is granted political asylum”
Slogans in favor of Assange and Ecuador were however shouted outside the Ecuador Embassy after the development. Three of the slogan shouters were arrested by the police for a brief fighting incident involving the policemen.
WikiLeaks had responded to the situation earlier by saying, “in strongest possible terms the UK’s resort to intimidation”, it also said, “Any transgression against the sanctity of the embassy is a unilateral and shameful act, and a violation of the Vienna Convention, which protects embassies worldwide”.
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