Ecuador has granted asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño said Thursday.
The UK, meanwhile, has said it will not grant safe passage out of the country to Assange, who has been holed up inside Ecuador's embassy in London.
Assange has been holed up at the embassy since petitioning for asylum in June. He is seeking to avoid being sent to Sweden over claims of rape and sexual molestation, and said he fears that if extradited, Swedish authorities could hand him over to the United States.
Assange was arrested in Britain in 2010 because Swedish authorities wanted to question him about the allegations. Two women have accused Assange of sexually assaulting them during an August 2010 visit to Sweden in connection with a WikiLeaks release of internal U.S. military documents. Assange denies the allegations and argues they are retribution for his organization's disclosure of American secrets.FULL STORY