6 September 2012
Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino again asked Britain Thursday to allow safe passage out of its territory for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, dpa reported.
Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since June, and Quito granted him asylum last month. However, British authorities have stressed time and again that they would not let him out of the country.
In an address before leaders of indigenous communities, Patino said asylum had been granted to Assange “following a detailed evaluation of the case.”
“In an unprecedented, imperial episode, (Britain) threatened to enter (the embassy) without an invitation, to capture Mr. Assange,” he said.
British authorities have repeatedly denied Ecuadorian allegations that they had threatened to storm the embassy.
“Today, we ask England to respect the Ecuadorian decision, grant the relevant safe conduct to end the impasse and protect (Assange’s) life, which is seriously at risk if there is no mediation by human reason and the good will of international coexistance,” Patino said.
Assange, who is Australian, fled to the Ecuadorian embassy in June after a protracted court battle in Britain to stop his extradition to Sweden was unsuccessful.
He is wanted in Sweden for questioning in connection with rape and sexual assault allegations made by two women in the summer of 2010.
But Assange, 41, believes that the request for his extradition is “politically motivated” and linked to the publication of masses of US confidential diplomatic cables on his whistleblowing website since 2010.