No Safe Passage to Ecuador for Assange
The UK will not allow Julian Assange safe passage to Ecuador, after the South American country granted the founder of WikiLeaks asylum, British foreign secretary William Hague said on Thursday.
Mr Hague warned the stand-off at the Ecuadorean embassy in London could go on for some time. But he said the British would not storm the building, after Ecuador claimed the UK had threatened to launch a raid.
“We will not allow Mr Assange safe passage out of the United Kingdom, nor is there any legal basis for us to do so,” Mr Hague said. “The United Kingdom does not recognise the principle of diplomatic asylum.”
Mr Hague stressed that the case was not about Mr Assange’s activities at WikiLeaks but about answering allegations of serious sexual offences in Sweden.
In a clear provocation to UK authorities, WikiLeaks confirmed that Mr Assange was due to give a statement on Sunday “in front” of the Ecuadorean embassy. Scotland Yard has said it will move to arrest Mr Assange as soon as he is no longer on diplomatic soil, although he could still technically stand within the boundary of the embassy’s property.