Ecuador vows to seek solution in Assange dispute

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THE Ecuadorian government has stressed its commitment to finding a solution to the position of Julian Assange on the anniversary of the WikiLeaks founder being granted political asylum.

The Australian has been living inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London for more than a year as part of his campaign to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces sex allegations against two women – claims he denies.

Mr Assange fears that if he travels to Sweden he will be forcibly taken to the United States to face questioning over documents published by WikiLeaks.

A statement from the Ecuadorian government said: “One year ago today Ecuador took the decision to award asylum to Julian Assange, a journalist who feared political persecution after publishing information sensitive to the US government that exposed war crimes, killings, torture and other human rights abuses that would otherwise never have come to light.

“After thoroughly examining the evidence, the government of Ecuador concluded that it shared Julian Assange’s concerns that there is a real and present danger to his freedoms.”

The statement said the recent guilty verdict against US soldier Bradley Manning and attempts to prosecute Edward Snowden for leaking information about US surveillance, underlined why Ecuador granted asylum.

The government of Ecuador “remained committed to finding an equitable solution”.