Wednesday, 20 June 2012

President Of Ecuado is a WikiLeaks fan and calls Assange 'persecuted'

As WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange seeks asylum in the unlikely destination of Ecuador to avoid extradition and questioning over alleged sexual misconduct in Sweden, he may have one fan in the South American country: its president.
After Assange entered the Ecuadorian embassy Tuesday afternoon, the embassy released a non-committal statement about the 40-year old activist’s appeal for political asylum: “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 [Assange's] application on to the relevant department in Quito,” the statement reads. “The decision to consider Mr. Assange’s application for protective asylum should in no way be interpreted as the Government of Ecuador interfering in the judicial processes of either the United Kingdom or Sweden.”
But Assange may be hoping the president of the country, Rafael Correa, will follow up with a statement more like the one he made to Assange two months ago: ”Cheer up! Cheer up! Welcome to the club of the persecuted!”
Those were a few of the closing words of Correa’s interview with Assange in April, when the two spoke for his RT-funded television show the World of Tomorrow.
In late 2010, an Ecuadorean official seemed to have made an unconditional offer of residency to Assange. ”We are open to giving him residency in Ecuador, without any problem and without any conditions,” Deputy Foreign Minister Kintto Lucas said at the time, according to the BBC.
But Correa subsequently denied the offer, saying it had “not been approved by Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino—or the president.”


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