WikiLeaks Julian Assange to Speak at United Nations General Assembly Meeting
Sep 26, 2012 12:11 PM EDT
Julian Assange, co-founder of WikiLeaks, will address the United Nations annual General Assembly on Wednesday alongside Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino to garner support to prevent his extradition to Sweden where he is being accused of rape and sex crimes. The Ecuador mission to the United Nations confirmed the news on Tuesday to the Associated Press.
Assange has been in the shelter of London's Ecuador Embassy since June 19. The President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa granted the 42 year old asylum. However, Assange has been stranded in the embassy; the British government threatens to arrest Assange if he steps outside the Ecuadorian territory.
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British Foreign Secretary William Hague told the Associated Press that the U.N. has "much bigger issues" to deal with. Hague said, "We agreed that we would continue to talk, and we will continue to talk about this issue with the government of Ecuador. But I see no sign of any break through," as reported on the AP.
In June, after ruling in favor of Assage's extradition, the British Supreme Court refused to review his appeal to extradition releasing a statement stating, "The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has dismissed the application made by Ms. Dinah Rose QC, counsel for Mr. Julian Assange, seeking to reopen their appeal," as reported by the AFP.
Assange sought shelter in the Ecuadorian embassy by filing a petition seeking asylum from being extradited to Sweden, where he will be charged with rape and sexual assault. Assange has repeatedly claimed that the accusations were mere a device of getting the whistleblower to US authorities so he could be indicted for divulging State secretes.
Patino requested the British government that they grant the embassy permission to fly 42-year-old Assange to Ecuador, but British authorities have declined any such permission, releasing a statement saying, "British authorities are under a binding obligation to extradite him to Sweden...We shall carry out that obligation. The Ecuadorian government's decision this afternoon does not change that," as reported by Yahoo News.
It remains to be seen what will happen, whether the Ecuador is protected under international law to grant political asylum or whether Britain's defiance will over-rule.
Assange rose to fame in 2010 when he leaked a number of US diplomatic cables and videos regarding the war in Iraq and Afghanistan through his co-founded online organization Wikileaks. The organization stirred great derision from Washington and other countries whose secrets were divulged. Assange and his team argue that there is foul play in the alleged sex crimes allegations and that these accusations are sponsored by a number of upset politicians.