Julian Assange row: Ecuador vs United Kingdom

Julian Assange
Ecuador has granted Julian Assange asylum out of concern the Wikileaks founder will be politically persecuted if extradited.

The decision is a victory for Assange, who is trying to avoid being extradited to Sweden and has been holed up inside Ecuador's embassy in London for nearly two months.

But the bad news for Assange is that British police have refused to grant him safe passage out of the country.

The British government has pledged to send Assange to Sweden to face questioning on sex crimes charges, but Ecuador's foreign minister says if Assange is sent to Sweden, he could then be extradited to the United States to face charges of espionage or treason.

Meanwhile, the Ecuadorian president said the United Kingdom would be "suicidal" to come into Ecuador's embassy in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been holed up since June.

"I think it would be suicidal for Great Britain to enter Ecuador's embassy. Later on, they could have their own embassies violated in all corners of the globe, and they'd have nothing to say about it," President Rafael Correa told state TV.

Assange fled to the Ecuadorian embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning over sex crime allegations.

The dispute between Britain and Ecuador exploded when the British Foreign Office, in a letter to Ecuadorian officials, cited a little known law that could temporarily suspend the embassy's diplomatic protection and allow authorities to enter and arrest Assange.

Correa has slammed Britain's behavior toward Ecuador, describing it as "intolerable" and "unacceptable."

Ecuadorian Embassy in London

British Police stand guard at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London

British Police patrols outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London