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Ecuador extends political asylum for WikiLeaks founder Assange

Ecuador confirmed its intention to continue protecting him as long as necessary

BOGOTA, November 22. /TASS/. Ecuador has extended political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has spent over two years inside Ecuador’s London embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden, the Universo newspaper has reported.

“Remaining faithful to the long-time tradition of protecting human rights, especially, the victims of political persecutions, Ecuador has ratified the period of validity of its commitment to defend freedom and life of citizen Julian Assange,” the newspaper reported citing a statement issued by the government. 

Ecuador announced the decision to “extend the validity of the asylum granted to Assange and confirmed its intention to continue protecting him as long as necessary until Assange himself finds a safer place.”

The government of Ecuador also confirmed the proposal to the Swedish authorities to cooperate in the legal sphere in an effort to swiftly solve the issue.

Assange, who is wanted for questioning over alleged sex crimes in Sweden, on November 20 lost an appeal against a Swedish warrant for his arrest. The court ruled that the crimes are "serious."

The Australian fled to the embassy in June 2012 after a British court ruled to extradite him to Sweden over accusations of rape and sexual molestation. Ecuador announced that it granted political asylum to Assange in August 2012.

Assange considers the accusations are a pretext to eventually sending him to the United States, which is seeking to get hold of him for leaking classified military and diplomatic documents in 2010.