Posted 11 months ago on June 19, 2012, 9:21 p.m. EST by vvv0619
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Ambassador says Ecuador will 'carefully consider' Assange request
Ecuador's ambassador to Australia has pledged his country will carefully consider the bid for asylum by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, saying people always need to flee ''political storms''.
Raul Gangotena told the National Times this morning that no decision had yet been made regarding Mr Assange's dramatic bid for asylum in Ecuador's London embassy overnight, but his foreign minister was in talks with Britain and Sweden over Mr Assange's case.
But he said the United States had already indicated it had no interest in the matter and it was between Britain, Sweden and Ecuador.
''Our country does not want to interfere in any judicial process,'' Mr Gangotena said. ''But if there are political grounds for asylum, our country will pay due respect to the institution of political asylum.''
''We always respect that institution because whenever there are political storms, there are people that might need to be protected.''
Mr Gangotena said he had not been contacted at all by the Australian government over Mr Assange's bid for asylum, and did not know if he would be.
But he said Ecuador and Australia had a ''healthy and fluid'' relationship.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard, during a press conference at the closing of the G20 summit in Mexico, would not comment on Mr Assange's bid for political asylum, saying only he had received more consular assistance than any other Australian who had run into legal difficulties whilst overseas ''in a comparable'' period.
''We support Mr Assange just as we support any Australian overseas who is experiencing legal difficulties or dilemmas,'' Ms Gillard said.
The Australian Greens have come out in strong support of the Wikileaks founder, with senator Scott Ludlam telling reporters in Canberra this morning he had seen part of a letter Mr Assange had written to the Ecuadorian government.
''He doesn't have any confidence at all in the Australian government's willingness to protect him, or to stand up for his rights,'' he told reporters in Canberra.
Senator Ludlam said he understood Ecuadorian authorities have contacted Sweden, Britain and the US about Mr Assange's case, but had not had dealings with Canberra on the matter.
''I think that in itself is telling of the degree of neglect that he has been dealing with,'' Senator Ludlam said.
He admitted there was no concrete evidence that the US had secret plans to extradite Mr Assange bus added the US ambassador in Australia had chosen his words ''very carefully'' when speaking on the matter.
''The US ambassador did say there was no warrant that he was aware of,'' Senator Ludlam said. ''It's not a warrant that we are concerned about. It's an indictment for charges of espionage.''
Greens MP Adam Bandt described as 'shameful'' the government's treatment of Mr Assange. which he said had forced him to turn to Ecuador for help.
He called on the federal government to use its ''special relationship'' with the US to ask what its plans were for Mr Assange's case.
''If it's the case that the US intends to put him on trial where he might face the death penalty, then that is something that should be of great concern to the Australian government,'' Mr Bandt said.
Please don't post blah-blah-blah comments to this, forum members. Instead, do whatever you can do that will make a real difference. Love or hate Assange, but without him there would be no WikiLeaks. Without WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning and Mohamed Bouazizi there would be no Arab Spring. Without the Arab Spring there would be no Occupy Wall Street. And without OWS millions of Americans would not be waking up and asking what's wrong with their country.
UNTIL THE LAMBS BECOME LIONS ... RISE UP!