Ecuador To Let Assange Remain In Its Embassy In London Indefinitely [View all]
CARACAS, Venezuela — The government of Ecuador is prepared to allow Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, to remain in its embassy in London indefinitely under a type of humanitarian protection, a government official said in Quito on Wednesday night. Mr. Assange has been holed up in the embassy for two months seeking asylum.
Amid an escalating confrontation with Britain over Mr. Assange, Ecuadorean officials said they would announce the decision of the country’s president, Rafael Correa, on Thursday. The official said that the British government had made it clear it would not allow Mr. Assange to leave the country to travel to Ecuador, so even with a grant of asylum or similar protection, he would probably remain stuck in the embassy.
Earlier Wednesday, Ecuador’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patiño, said that the British authorities had threatened to barge into the country’s embassy in London if officials did not hand over Mr. Assange. “Today we have received from the United Kingdom an explicit threat in writing that they could assault our embassy in London if Ecuador does not hand over Julian Assange,” Mr. Patiño said at a news conference in Quito, adding defiantly, “We are not a British colony.”