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The people of Quito, the capital of Ecuador, have taken to the streets to protest at the latest twist in the saga over Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, who’s currently holed up at the Embassy office in London where he’s seeking asylum.
The UK Foreign Office says it can lift Ecuador’s diplomatic status allowing Britain to remove Mr. Assange from the building and extradite him to Sweden. He’s due to answer rape charges.
And Ecuador’s Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patino has interpreted that as a threat to raid the Embassy. He’s not amused:
"We want to make it absolutely clear that we are not a British colony and that the times of the colony are over. Finally, I want to tell you that the government of Ecuador has made a decision regarding the diplomatic asylum of Mr. Assange and it will be announced tomorrow at 7am in this same location."
Australian-born Assange, who’s been in the Embassy for the last 2 months, infuriated Washington by publishing thousands of secret military information via his website Wikileaks back in 2010. If he’s extradited to Sweden for trial over the sex crime allegations, he’s fearful that the United States will want him to face charges over the mass information leak as well. And he believes his life would be at risk there.
The decision on his asylum is due around lunchtime today.
Written and Presented by Marverine Cole