Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino met with British Foreign Secretary William Hague this week at the United Nations in New York, to discuss the case of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange. Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since June of this year, and he was officially granted diplomatic asylum by Ecuador on 16th August. He has been unable to leave the embassy however, as he faces immediate arrest by the British authorities.
Julian Assange (by acidpolly)
Assange is wanted in Sweden, where officials have issued a European Arrest Warrant for him with regard to allegations of sex offences, which he denies. Assange believes that, if he does return to Sweden, he will be extradited to the United States to face questioning over the 2010 publishing of classified war documents and diplomatic cables, which he fears could result in a lengthy prison sentence or even the death penalty.
Foreign Secretary William Hague by Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Hague and Patino failed to come to an agreement however during their meeting on last Thursday, 27th September. The British Foreign Secretary’s spokesman reported that Hague told Patino how “the UK was under an obligation to extradite Mr Assange to Sweden.” Patino told reporters after the meeting that “we still do not see, of course, an immediate solution, but we understand that there is a willingness to discuss the topic.”
The Ecuadorian Government today announced that they will give Julian Assange political asylum. There’s only one small detail: he’s camped out in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and the British police insist they will not let him leave the embassy, let alone fly to Ecuador, without being arrested.
As the owner of a travel guidebook company based in Quito, Ecuador I can say that Julian is really missing out by “being in Ecuador” while in reality he’s actually stuck in London. Bummer for him.
So Julian, why not make the most of your time in London and start planning out your trip to Ecuador?
In honor of ALL those around the world stuck somewhere miserable who have dreams of visiting Ecuador, here’s a coupon for a FREE copy of VIVA Travel Guides’ Ecuador eBook:
Go here: http://shop.vivatravelguides.com/ecuador-1.html
And use this coupon code to download your free Ecuador eBook: WelcometoEcuadorJulian
(valid through August 31)
Note that this offer doesn’t include a stealth rescue helicopter or any other transportation arrangements for Julian or anyone else, but the ebook certainly will help out in planning and once you’re actually here in Ecuador!
Founder of VIVA Travel Guides