The whole purpose for Julian Assange to seek refuge in Ecuador's London embassy is that British police can't go in there because it's considered sovereign territory, but now Ecuador says Britain is threatening a raid if it doesn't hand the WikiLeaks founder over. The threat, which Ecuaorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino revealed at a news conference in the Ecuadorean capital of Quito, incensed Ecuadorean officials. "Ecuador rejects in the most emphatic terms the explicit threat of the British official communication," he said, according to The BBC. "If the measure announced in the British official communication is enacted, it will be interpreted by Ecuador as an unacceptable, unfriendly and hostile act and as an attempt against our sovereignty. It would force us to respond."
Ecuador is expected to announce on Thursday whether it would officially grant Assange the asylum he has sought since losing an appeal in his fight against extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges. According to a tweet from the Australian Broadcasting Company, "Ecuador wants to give Assange asylum, but Britain is refusing to grant safe passage." With the threat of force on Ecuador's embassy now public, it sounds like Britain's doing a lot more than just refusing to guarantee safe passage.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.