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Ecuador grants asylum to WikiLeak's Assange

posted 16 Aug 2012, 09:35 by Mpelembe   [ updated 16 Aug 2012, 09:40 ]

Latin American supporters outside Ecuador embassy in London proud of Quito's Assange decision.

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (AUGUST 16, 2012) (REUTERS) - A Latin American supporters of Julian Assange chanted and waved Ecuadorian flags in praise of Quito's decision to the grant the WikiLeaks founder asylum, outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Thursday (August 16).

After hearing the news that the Ecuadorian foreign minister had made the announcement, the London supporters marched in front of the embassy and chanted "Julian Assange, freedom fighter".

Diplomatic tensions between Ecuador and Britain are increasing, in a standoff which has seen the British Government warn it could revoke the diplomatic status of Quito's embassy to allow the extradition of Assange.

Christina Motte, from Peru said of Quito's stance: "We think that is a very brave thing to do."

She added that Assange needs all the support possible because she believes America is out to get him.

"Yes, sure, we are very content with the decision taken by Correa. We are very happy. This is what we as Ecuadoreans wanted to happen, that it would be just," said Liliana Calle, a young woman from Ecuador.

Assange - the high-profile Australian former hacker has been holed up inside the red-brick embassy in central London for eight weeks since he lost a legal battle to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over rape allegations.

He fears if he is sent to Sweden, America will try to extradite him from there to potentially face the death penalty in the US.