Quito, Jun 22 (Prensa Latina) Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa affirmed his government analyzes the request of political asylum made by the Australian journalist Julian Assange and considered of strange nature the charges against him.
“Everyone knows he is a fighter for freedom of expression without limits,” Correa said in reference to the founder of Wikileaks, who faces extradition to Sweden for alleged sex crimes rejected by him.
The president noted that Assange is under protection of Ecuador’s diplomatic mission in London, while performing talks, at the highest level, to
find a solution to his requirement.
He said Ecuador rejects the death penalty, so could not risk a person who has applied for asylum, especially for political offenses, to face that possibility.
“We can not accept that there is a political persecution due to the ideas expressed by Assange, and if he has committed a legal offense in terms of Wikileaks, those are the charges that should be presented, he added.
Correa explained that his country lives under a state of law, loves peace and justice, and would not accept breach in the process because of the political ideas of this Australian citizen.
He said his government will take the necessary time and take a decision in the appropriate moment.
“We do not want to offend anyone, especially a country like the United Kingdom, but we will not give up taking sovereign decisions,” he stated.
On Thursday, Michael Ratner, lawyer for Assange, said in an interview on national television that his client chose Ecuador to seek political asylum because he knew that can not be manipulated by the United States (U.S.).
Assange had two options, be extradited to Sweden or to U.S. territory and therefore he had to find a place where he could receive protection and that was not manipulated by the U.S., he said.
Wikileaks founder fears that once in Stockholm, where he is accused of sex crimes he denies, he will be extradited to U.S. territory for political offenses and sentence there to death.