UK 'threaten' to raid Ecuador Embassy over Assange
- Category: Uncensored News
- Published on Thursday, 16 August 2012 04:04
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Ecuador said today that the British government had threatened to raid its embassy in London if WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is not handed over, and that Quito would make its decision on his asylum request on Thursday.
"Today we've received a threat by the United Kingdom, a clear and written threat that they could storm our embassy in London if Ecuador refuses to hand in Julian Assange," Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino told reporters.
"We are not a British colony," he added in an angry statement after a meeting with President Rafael Correa.
Ecuador has granted asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange two months after he took refuge in its London embassy while fighting extradition from the UK.
It said there were fears Mr Assange’s human rights might be violated.
Foreign minister Ricardo Patino accused the UK of making an “open threat” to enter its embassy to arrest him.
The British Foreign Office made it clear Thursday that Ecuador’s decision does not alter Britain’s intention of fulfilling its legal obligation to extradite Assange. “We shall carry out that obligation,” it said in a statement. “The Ecuadorian government’s decision this afternoon does not change that.”
At a news conference in Quito, Ecuador’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, said Ecuador had decided to grant asylum “because of the fears expressed by Mr. Assange, we believe that his fears are legitimate, and there are threats that he could face political persecution if the measures aren’t taken to avoid them.”
Mr Assange took refuge at the embassy in June to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces questioning over assault and rape claims, which he denies.
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