WikiLeaks founder faces asylum

Julian Assange faces political persecution by the United States and other countries, said Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino on Thursday, justifying the decision to grant the WikiLeaks founder asylum.

If extradited from Sweden to the United States, Assange “would not face a fair trial, he could face a military or special trial … he could face the death sentence,” Patino told reporters in Quito.

The United States, Britain and Sweden had rejected requests for guarantees regarding Assange’s safety, Patino said, “despite repeated attempts made by Ecuador.”

A British move to enter the Ecuadorean embassy in London to arrest Assange was “basically saying ‘we’re going to beat you savagely if you don’t behave’,” Patino said.

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WikiLeaks founder faces asylum