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WikiLeaks' Assange seeks asylum in Ecuador, an anti-press regime

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Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy – and in doing so, chosen an unlikely ally.

The man who defends the publishing of classified diplomatic cables as the ultimate right of freedom of expression is turning to a government that has been accused of major declines in press freedom in recent years, according to experts.

“There has been a serious, serious deterioration of freedom of the press in the last five years in Ecuador,” says Carlos Lauria, the Americas director for the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York. 

The Ecuadorean foreign minister, according to the Associate Press, reported that Mr. Assange sought refuge in the Andean country's embassy in London, and is seeking political asylum.

Ecuador is now reportedly weighing the request.

Assange has been wanted for questioning in Sweden after two women accused him of sexual misconduct there during a 2010 visit. Last week the British Supreme Court said it would not reopen his extradition case, paving the way for him to be sent to Sweden.

Assange shot to international attention in 2010 with the publishing of US diplomatic cables, the largest leak of classified US documents in history.

Why Ecuador? Mr. Lauria says it could possibly be linked to the television interview Assange did with President Correa on his television show The World Tomorrow in May.


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