Ecuador said Thursday night the Union of South American Nations has called an emergency meeting to discuss British threats to seize WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from inside its embassy in London.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has sought political asylum inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London under the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
Ecuador's foreign minister confirmed Assange's request and said the government in Quito was analysing the situation.
Assange directly wrote to Rafael Correa, the Ecuadorian president and alleged to be a big fan of WikiLeaks, saying he was being persecuted and could not return to his home country Australia.
"While the department assesses Mr Assange's application, Mr Assange will remain at the embassy, under the protection of the Ecuadorian government," said an embassy spokesman.
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"The decision to consider 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."
A Foreign Office spokesperson said that because Assange was in the diplomatic territory of another country, the British police could not touch him.
Assange said he was grateful to the Ecuadorian ambassador and the government of Ecuador for considering his application.
"I can confirm that today I arrived at the Ecuadorian Embassy and sought diplomatic sanctuary and political asylum. This application has been passed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the capital Quito. I am grateful to the Ecuadorian ambassador and the government of Ecuador for considering my application," Assange said in a statement, according to a Press Association report.
Assange is facing extradition charges to Sweden as the Supreme Court also refuses to take up his case. In Sweden, Assange may face rape and sexual assault charges.
People familiar with the matter say this could be Assange's last resort. Even if he is given political asylum by Ecuador, there are chances that Assange will be immediately arrested once he leaves the Ecuadorian embassy for Heathrow airport.
However, Ecuador could be a logical solution for Assange as the country has already broken its ties with the US.
The country had earlier reportedly offered him shelter in 2010 at the height of the Wikileaks disclosures.
Even during Assange's latest television show, the Ecuadorian president appeared quite friendly.
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