Skip to main content

Ecuador's Correa defends decision to grant asylum to WikiLeaks' Assange

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 11:40 AM EDT, Sun August 19, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa says Great Britain's behavior is "unacceptable"
  • "They don't realize Latin America is free and sovereign," he says
  • Julian Assange has been holed up inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since June
  • Ecuador granted asylum to Assange, but the U.K. does not recognize it

(CNN) -- Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa on Saturday defended his country's decision to grant WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange asylum, slamming Great Britain's behavior toward Ecuador as "intolerable" and "unacceptable."

Assange is currently holed up inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Ecuador offered him asylum this week, but British authorities have said they are committed to extraditing him to Sweden, where Assange is wanted to face questioning over claims of rape and sexual molestation.

The situation remains at a standoff.

Assange demands U.S. end WikiLeaks 'witch hunt'

"Who do they think they're dealing with?" Correa asked rhetorically of Great Britain during his weekly address. "They don't realize Latin America is free and sovereign. We won't tolerate interference, colonialism of any kind."

The president said Ecuador had sought but did not receive guarantees that Assange would not be extradited to a third country.

 A document that says that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is to be arrested in any circumstances if he comes out of the Embassy of Ecuador is seen on a police officer's clipboard. (Editor's note: Part of the document has been pixelated by Press Association news agency.) A document that says that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is to be arrested in any circumstances if he comes out of the Embassy of Ecuador is seen on a police officer's clipboard. (Editor's note: Part of the document has been pixelated by Press Association news agency.)
What now for Assange?
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
>
>>
Photos: WikiLeaks founder breaks his silence Photos: WikiLeaks founder breaks his silence
Assange protests in London
Why did Ecuador grant Assange asylum?
Can Assange leave London?

Assange, an Australian national, and his supporters claim a U.S. grand jury has been empaneled to consider charges against him. They fear if he is extradited to Sweden, he could be sent next to the United States.

Assange was arrested in Britain in 2010 because Swedish authorities wanted to question him about the allegations. Two women accused him of sexually assaulting them during an August 2010 visit to Sweden in connection with a WikiLeaks release of internal U.S. military documents. Assange denies the allegations and argues they are in retribution for his organization's disclosure of American secrets.

Publicly silent since last March, Assange is expected to speak at 2 p.m. Sunday -- two months to the day since he sought asylum -- according to WikiLeaks' official Twitter feed.

Also Sunday, foreign ministers from member states of the Union of South American Nations will convene in Guayaquil, Ecuador, to discuss the asylum situation.

Assange sought refuge at the embassy five days after the Supreme Court in Britain dismissed his bid to reopen his appeal of the decision to send him to Sweden, his last option in British courts. He is subject to arrest for breaking the terms of his bail, which required that he spend his nights at the home of a supporter outside London, police said the day after he entered the embassy.

Assange and diplomatic asylum: A primer

Standoff at embassy, after Ecuador grants asylum

Opinion: Assange's stubborn grip hurt WikiLeaks

Why Assange needs Ecuador and why Ecuador needs Assange

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
WikiLeaks
updated 12:38 PM EST, Thu November 10, 2011
From "Climategate" to leaked diplomatic cables, CNN takes an inside look at the WikiLeaks organization.
updated 2:02 PM EDT, Wed July 16, 2014
A detention order against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on sexual assault allegations should remain in place, a Swedish judge ruled.
updated 2:49 PM EDT, Tue June 17, 2014
A U.S. soldier imprisoned for leaking documents to WikiLeaks broke her silence in a fiery editorial accusing the United States of lying about Iraq.
updated 8:44 PM EDT, Sun March 9, 2014
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said that everyone in the world will be just as effectively monitored soon -- at least digitally.
updated 7:58 PM EST, Thu January 2, 2014
There have been other leaks before Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning.
updated 2:00 AM EDT, Wed July 31, 2013
A military judge acquitted Army Pfc. Bradley Manning of aiding the enemy, but convicted him of violations of the Espionage Act for turning over a trove of classified data to the website WikiLeaks.
updated 8:50 PM EDT, Tue July 30, 2013
Bradley Manning is naturally adept at computers, smart and opinionated, even brash, according to those who say they know him.
updated 12:34 PM EDT, Sun June 23, 2013
assange snowden
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange urged the world to "stand with" Edward Snowden, the man who admitted leaking top-secret details about U.S. surveillance programs.
updated 7:46 AM EDT, Tue June 11, 2013
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, knows something about secrets and what happens when they're exposed.
updated 7:11 PM EDT, Mon June 3, 2013
Prosecutors say a 25-year-old Army private accused of aiding the nation's enemies through the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history "craved" notoriety.
updated 10:07 AM EDT, Thu August 16, 2012
From the issuing of an arrest warrant, to a decision on Assange's asylum, see how the story has developed.
updated 3:49 PM EDT, Sat June 30, 2012
Julian Assange is waiting to hear if Ecuador will grant him asylum. He's dangling from a cliff, for sure. Hanging by a pinky next to him -- WikiLeaks.
updated 12:25 PM EDT, Mon October 29, 2012
Holed up in Ecuador's Embassy in London, Julian Assange talks at length about his life and motivations.
updated 8:20 PM EDT, Sun August 19, 2012
Assange's move is dramatic, but he's not the first person to seek an escape route through a diplomatic mission. Here are some key precedents.
updated 5:31 AM EDT, Wed May 30, 2012
assange
Assange is a self-appointed champion of free speech and the founder of a web operation that has greatly antagonized the U.S. government.
updated 9:02 PM EDT, Thu July 5, 2012
WikiLeaks said it has begun publishing some 2.4 million e-mails from Syrian politicians, government ministries and companies dating back to 2006.
ADVERTISEMENT