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Ecuador explores mediation to resolve “untenable” situation of Assange

Ⓒ AFP/Archivos – Justin TALLIS – | WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, greets from the Ecuadorian embassy in London on May 19, 2017

The government of Ecuador considers requesting a “mediation” to achieve a final settlement with the United Kingdom before the “untenable” situation of Julian Assange, asylum since 2012 in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

It is the first time that Ecuador has proposed mediation to resolve the case, in which the United States and Sweden are also involved.

“We are also considering and exploring the possibility of mediation (…) It may be a third country or a personality,” Chancellor María Fernanda Espinosa announced Tuesday.

“No solution will be achieved without international cooperation and without the cooperation of the United Kingdom, which has also shown interest in seeking a way out,” he added without giving further details, during a breakfast with foreign correspondents.

The founder of WikiLeaks has been sheltering since 2012 at the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid being extradited to Sweden for alleged sex crimes, charges he denies.

The Swedish prosecutor’s office shelved the investigation, but Assange fears he will be arrested if he leaves the legation to be extradited to the United States and tried for the publication in WikiLeaks of military secrets and US diplomatic documents in 2010.

Since granting him asylum, Quito hopes that the British authorities will give him a safe conduct so he can leave the UK.

The Ecuadorian chancellor assured that Assange’s situation “from the human point of view is not sustainable”.

“A person can not live in these conditions forever, and we are looking very respectfully with the United Kingdom to see mechanisms of solution,” he said.

– Asylum “in danger” –

The chancellor ratified for the umpteenth time the asylum granted him by the government of Rafael Correa (2007-2017), now at odds with his successor and exiled Lenin Moreno, whom he considers a “traitor” who has allied with the opposition and wants to reverse the achievements of his government.

Correa, back in Ecuador to lead the campaign for the ‘No’ in the popular consultation with which the president seeks to banish the correísmo, said Monday that the asylum Assange “greatly jeopardized” in the government of his successor.

“After the consultation, given the minimal pressure from the United States, they support the blockade of Cuba, they throw Julian Assange out of our embassy,” denounced the ex-president, a staunch defender of the asylum, although in the past he questioned some statements made by the founder of Wikileaks. .

However, Espinosa said that the protection of Ecuador to Assange “remains unchanged”, while “their physical and psychological integrity are in danger.”

Moreno’s government has repeatedly asked the cyber-activist not to make statements or activities that could affect Ecuador’s international relations, as happened after the Australian showed his support for the Catalan independence leaders and the independence declared unilaterally by the parliament of that region of Spain.

Espinosa, who also held several positions of responsibility in the socialist government of Correa, also referred to the continuous rumors that circulate about the physical deterioration of the cyber-activist after so many years locked in the small diplomatic legation of the British capital.

“How would you feel after five and a half years of being in a small office without being able to get sunlight and without breathing fresh air?” He asked reporters.

“Even people who are in detention centers can go out to the playground, they can play sports.” That does not happen with Julian Assange, his condition of confinement is very complicated, “he recalled.

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