Ecuador has announced that Julian Assange is seeking political asylum at their London embassy. This comes a mere week after Assange’s appeal against extradition to Sweden to face sexual misconduct charges was denied.
Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patin stated that the government of Rafael Correa is weighing Assange’s request. The embassy stated, “As a signatory to the United Nations Universal Declaration for Human Rights, with an obligation to review all applications for asylum, we have immediately passed his application on to the relevant department in Quito.”
“I am grateful to the Ecuadorian ambassador and the government of Ecuador for considering my application,” Assange said in a brief statement.
While Assange has exhausted his legal appeals in the UK, he has until June 28 to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights; so it comes as a surprise that he would suddenly seek asylum in Ecuador. However, if one had occasion to watch Assange’s “The World Tomorrow” episode with Correa, it’s clear they have respect for one another and are quite chummy.
Whether or not Assange’s gambit will work is anyone’s guess, but it does seem unlikely that Ecuador would stir the shitstorm and oblige. One can almost feel the electrical charge of U.S. diplomats and spies converging on Ecuador to manipulate it into denying Assange’s asylum request.