QUITO – Ecuadorian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ricardo Patiño said the situation of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has taken refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London since 2012, should be referred to the United Nations Human Rights Council.
“I think the matter is going to have to be referred there, as it cannot continue the way it is,” said the Minister on Monday, emphasizing that “it cannot be that someone is deprived of his human rights for so long and now he is told simply,” that there is ultimately no case against him.
The Minister spoke to media about the new position taken by Swedish prosecutors, who agreed on Friday to question Assange in London over four rape and sexual assault allegations.
A preventative detention order was issued against Assange in absentia in 2010 in Sweden, and he has remained several years in the Ecuadorian embassy to avoid extradition from the United Kingdom to Sweden for questioning over the allegations.
Assange has denied the accusations and argues that his extradition to Sweden could lead to extradition to the United States, where he could face a death sentence for releasing thousands of confidential diplomatic documents through the Wikileaks website.
Patiño reiterated that the Ecuadorian government had proposed long ago that Assange be questioned at the embassy.
However, instead of being questioned, the whistleblower was isolated from judicial process, reflected the Minister.
According to Patiño, the London embassy has facilities to provide for the stay of the Wikileaks founder, who enjoys boxing and ballgames within the diplomatic offices.