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Julian Assange: Ecuador grants Wikileaks founder asylum

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Image from a quicklink Ecuador has granted asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange two months after he took refuge in its London embassy while fighting extradition from the UK.

It said there were fears Mr Assange's human rights may be violated.

Foreign minister Ricardo Patino accused the UK of making an "open threat" to enter its embassy to arrest Mr Assange.

Mr Assange took refuge at the embassy in June to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces questioning over assault and rape claims, which he denies.

Announcing Ecuador's decision, Mr Patino said the country believed Mr Assange's fears of political persecution were "legitimate".

He said the country was being loyal to its "tradition" of protecting those who are vulnerable.

"We trust that our friendship with the United Kingdom will remain intact," he added.

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