Julian Assange to leave Ecuador’s embassy in London

BY Colleen Shalby  August 18, 2014 at 1:26 PM EST

Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino (left) shakes hands with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after a press conference inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where Assange confirmed he "will be leaving the embassy soon". Photo by John Stillwell/PA Wire

Ecuador’s foreign minister Ricardo Patino (left) shakes hands with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after a press conference inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where Assange confirmed he “will be leaving the embassy soon”. Photo by John Stillwell/PA Wire


Wikileaks founder Julian Assange announced Monday morning that he would be leaving the Ecuadoran Embassy in London. He has taken refuge there for more than two years to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces arrest and questioning for allegations of sexual assault.

The Washington Post reported that Assange believes Sweden will send him to the United States, where the Department of Justice has built a case against him pertaining to his role in leaking government documents connected to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Ecuadorian foreign minister Ricardo Patino is seeking a meeting with his British counterpart to discuss plans to help Assange reach safety outside of the embassy.

Patino wrote a full statement in The Guardian.

“Ecuador is committed to protecting persons subject to political persecution … Ecuador renews its commitment to the protection of Assange’s human rights, freedom and life, and we affirm the validity of the asylum given to him two years ago. We also reiterate our request for safe passage to Assange so he can safely travel to Ecuadorian territory.”

The British press has reported that Assange is in poor health, but there has been no confirmation of those reor.