Ecuador Seeks Arrangement for Julian Assange to Leave London Embassy

Ecuador Seeks Arrangement for Julian Assange to Leave London Embassy

Ecuador Seeks Arrangement for Julian Assange to Leave London Embassy

Ecuador's foreign minister has said Julian Assange's five and a half year stay in her country's London embassy is "untenable" and should be ended through worldwide mediation. British authorities won't guarantee Assange is safe from extradition.

Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden over charges of rape and sexual assault.

WikiLeaks' publications have included hundreds of thousands of U.S. army war logs and state department diplomatic cables and more recently emails from the Democratic National Committee during the run-up to the 2016 USA presidential election. However, in an unexpected move a year ago, Swedish prosecutors dropped all charges against him.

Ecuador is exploring options to resolve his status and is very much interested in mediation by a third party, Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa told reporters Tuesday in Quito.

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Espinosa says her country is seeking solutions, saying the situation "is not sustainable". In 2016, a United Nations panel concluded that Assange had been "arbitrarily detained" and should be allowed to walk free.

"The UN ruling - issued nearly two years ago - is crystal clear in its language - Mr Assange is unlawfully and arbitrarily detained by the United Kingdom authorities and must be released", Assange's legal team told teleSUR.

"There is still a possibility that, even if he was granted diplomatic immunity by the Ecuadorians, the British government might still try to snatch him", Tatchell said, although "many British officials would be glad to see Assange getting a diplomatic passport and leaving [the UK]", he added.

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