Julian Assange News: Ecuador Promises To 'Safeguard Human Rights' Of Wikileaks Founder, Despite Swedish Court Decision

Julian Assange
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange arrives to speak from the balcony of Ecuador's embassy in London, where he took refuge in 2012. Swedish authorities had asked Britain to extradite him on rape charges. Supporters of Assange say the charges are legal covers designed to persecute him for his organization's work. Reuters

Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño said today that his government will safeguard the human rights of the founder of the website Wikileaks, Julian Assange, following the decision of a court in Stockholm against the Australian. "The government of Ecuador will not abandon its commitment to safeguard the human rights of Julian Assange until he reaches a safe place," Patino said on his Twitter account.

Assange has been a refugee for two years in Ecuador's embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden, where a court is demanding he answer for alleged sex offenses, which he denies. The Australian journalist has the protection of the Ecuadorian government of Rafael Correa, who granted him political asylum in August 2012, however the UK refuses to allow Assange to leave the embassy and to travel to Quito. 

Patiño's statement came shortly after news that a court of the first circle in Stockholm, Sweden, agreed on Wednesday to maintain the remand order issued against Assange in absentia in November 2010 for sexual offenses. The head of Ecuadorian diplomacy described the court decision as "bad news for the human rights of Julian Assange" and insisted the approach of Ecuador was for the Swedish justice to question him at the embassy in London. 

"Ecuador wants to cooperate with the Swedish justice and allow Julian Assange to make statement to the embassy or videoconference, without more delays," Patino said. The chancellor questioned the delay of the involved countries, the UK and Sweden, for a speedy resolution of the case through diplomatic channels.  "Two years is a long time, it's time to find a quick solution to the case against Julian Assange and ensure a respect for his human rights," Patino said. 

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Oscar Lopez is a Brooklyn-based writer. Originally from Mexico, Oscar moved with his family to Australia in 2000. Graduating from the University of Melbourne in 2011 with a BA (Honors) Oscar was awarded the Keith Macartney Scholarship for the Arts, the Louise Homfrey Award and the Hannah Barry Memorial Award. As well as reporting for Latin Times, Oscar's writng has been featured in Newsweek, New York Magazine (nymag.com) and Musee Magazine.