Let us permit ourselves a moment of slightly grim irony that it is Ecuador to whom Julian Assange has turned for political asylum. In recent years the government of President Correa has made full use of what are known as “desacato” laws, which make it a crime for journalists to “insult” or defame public officials. Editors and publishers have been sentenced to long prison terms and huge fines for criticising the authorities. This is the country to which the WikiLeaks founder has turned to save him from the despotism of Sweden.

Ecuador will soon decide whether or not to grant political asylum to Julian Assange, who jumped bail and took refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on June 19. David Aaronovitch believes the WikiLeaks founder is more fearful of facing rape charges in Sweden than espionage charges in the US


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