Ecuador has taken a decision to grant Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.
In what will be seen as a victory for freedom of access to information, Ricardo Patino, foreign minister, made the announcement during a press conference in Quito on Thursday.
The Ecuador government, loyal to its tradition to protect those who seek refuge with us at our diplomatic missions, has decided to grant diplomatic asylum to Mr Assange
The Ecuadorian government also reacted to statements by the British government that it would invade the embassy and extract Assange by saying that it would view this as a “hostile and intolerable act”.
Patino had said:
We want to be very clear, we’re not a British colony. The colonial times are over.
The move announced in the official British statement, if it happens, would be interpreted by Ecuador as an unfriendly, hostile and intolerable act, as well as an attack on our sovereignty, which would force us to respond in the strongest diplomatic way.
How he will leave the Ecuadorian embassy where he is holed up still remains to be seen. If he gets out he will be arrested and the place is under tight surveillance. Some say he might be smuggled out or given appointed an Ecuadorian diplomat so as to gain immunity both of which experts say is unworkable.
Looks as if this soap opera has still got legs.