Ecuador Grants Assange Asylum

Published on August 16, 2012
by Jeanne Whalen and Paul Sonne

Ecuador granted political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange Thursday, setting the stage for a tense standoff between the Andean nation and the United Kingdom, which has vowed to extradite Mr. Assange to Sweden to face questioning in a sexual assault investigation.

Ecuador’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, told reporters in Quito Thursday that the country had granted Mr. Assange asylum to protect him from alleged “political persecution” in the U.S., which Mr. Assange argues wants to prosecute him for WikiLeaks’ role in publishing thousands of classified U.S. government documents.

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