Live: Police surround Ecuador Embassy in London

Issue 
British police outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

There are reports dozens of police have gathered outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, in the early hours of August 16, and there are reports some police have been seen entering the building. It is feared a raid to kidnap WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange, who is inside the building seeking asylum from Ecuador. However, this would run the risk of an extreme diplomatic incident.

* * *
Brisbane: EMERGENCY RALLY TODAY August 16, 4pm. Vigil outside Department of Foreign Affairs in Ann St.
Sydney: EMERGENCY RALLY FOR ASSANGE, UK Consulate, tomorrow Friday 17 August at 5pm events. See here
* * *

Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino has given a press conference stating Britain has given a written threat to Ecuador's government that it would raid the London embassy unless Ecuador hands over Assange.

Giving the Gillard government a lesson in dignity, Patino strongly denounced the threat as "unacceptable" and said: "We are not a British colony."

WikiLeaks has released a statement condemning Britain's "intimidation" of Ecuador.

Legally, the Ecuadorian embassy is the sovereign Ecuadorian soil. @WikiLeaks has tweeted on rumours Britain has threatened to remove the embassy's legal immunity in order to arrest Assange. However, this is not confirmed.

Don Rothwell, Professor of International Law at the Australian National University, said the threat to raid the embassy, if true, was without precedent.

Assange is wanted for questioning by Swedish authorities over sexual assault allegations. In an unprecedented move, despite Assange being willing to be questioned in London, British courts have ordered Assange to be extradited to Sweden, from where supporters fear he will be transported to the United States to be punished for WikiLeaks publishing damaging secret US cables detailing war crimes.

Two live streams are below. Also, you can follow @wikileaks on Twitter.

Streaming live video by Ustream



Live broadcast by Ustream

If you like our work, become a supporter

Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. With no corporate sponsors or advertising, we rely on support and donations from readers like you.

For just $5 per month get the Green Left digital edition in your inbox each week. For $10 per month get the above and the print edition delivered to your door. You can also add a donation to your support by choosing the solidarity option of $20 per month.

Freecall now on 1800 634 206 or follow the support link below to make a secure supporter payment or donation online.