South America backs Ecuador over Assange asylum

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South America backs Ecuador over Assange asylum

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South America is standing side by side with Ecuador over its decision to grant asylum to Julian Assange.

Foreign ministers from the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) expressed their backing as they met in emergency session in Ecuador.

“We would like to express our solidarity and our support for the government of Ecuador in the face of the threats made by the UK against the building that shelters its diplomatic mission,” said UNASUR Secretary-General, Ali Rodriguez. “We reiterate the right of any state to grant asylum.”

On the embassy’s balcony on Sunday, Assange praised Latin American nations which he said had rallied against Britain. And he accused the United States of threatening freedom of expression.

“I ask President Obama to do the right thing. The United States must renounce its witch-hunt against WikiLeaks. The United States must dissolve its FBI investigation.”

Britain is determined to extradite the ex-hacker to Sweden for questioning over sexual assault claims. Assange believes the real aim is to send him to the US which is furious at the activities of his whistle-blowing website.