Ecuador grants asylum to WikiLeaks' Assange

Published: Thursday, Aug. 16 2012 11:13 a.m. MDT

In a mark of its anger over the asylum ruling, the Swedish Foreign Ministry said it had summoned Ecuador's ambassador to complain about the decision. The country's foreign minister, Carl Bildt, said in a message posted to Twitter that "our firm legal and constitutional system guarantees the rights of each and every one. We firmly reject any accusations to the contrary."

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa did seem to be any mood for compromise either, posting a tweet which read: "No one is going to frighten us."

The issue already seems to have frayed diplomatic ties between the U.K. and Ecuador. Britain's previous ambassador to Ecuador, Linda Cross, departed earlier this year and had been due to be replaced this month by Patrick Mullee. But his arrival has been delayed.

They could fray much further if Britain's decides to enforce a little-known 1987 law that gives the U.K. the right to enter the embassy to arrest Assange — a development most legal experts called unlikely and potentially dangerous.

The inviolability of embassies "is a fundamental premise of international law," said Niblock.

If Britain carried through with the move, "it would threaten their embassy premises around the world."

Solano reported from Quito, Ecuador. Associated Press writers Frank Bajak in Lima, Peru, Jill Lawless and Raissa Ioussouf in London, and Louise Nordstrom and Karl Ritter in Stockholm all contributed to this report.

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