Embassy of Ecuador, London

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File:Hans Crescent Street and Ecuador embassy.jpg
View of the Ecuadorian embassy from Hans Crescent Street, on the day of Julian Assange's speech in August 2012

The Embassy of Ecuador in London is the diplomatic mission of Ecuador in the United Kingdom. It is headed by the Ambassador of Ecuador to the United Kingdom. It is located in the Knightsbridge district in a building it shares with the Embassy of Colombia, near Harrods, Hyde Park, and Hans Place, precisely at 3 Hans Crescent at the intersection of Basil Street, and it is serviced by the Knightsbridge station.

As of June 2012, the Ecuadorian Embassy also serves as the temporary home of Australian editor, activist, publisher and journalist Julian Assange, after initially entering it on 19 June 2012 claiming diplomatic asylum,<ref name="ft20120815">Template:Cite web</ref><ref name="nytimes20120816">Template:Cite web</ref><ref name="BBC19259623" /> which was eventually granted by the Ecuadorian government on 16 August 2012.<ref name="nytimes20120816" /><ref name="BBCNews">Template:Cite web</ref><ref name="mmrree.gob.ec">Declaración del Gobierno de la República del Ecuador sobre la solicitud de asilo de Julian Assange Template:Es icon</ref>

The Embassy is charged with representing the interests of the President and Government of Ecuador, improving diplomatic relations between Ecuador and the accredited countries, promoting and improving the image and standing of Ecuador in the accredited nations, promoting the Culture of Ecuador, encouraging and facilitating tourism to and from Ecuador, and ensuring the safety of Ecuadorians abroad.

The structure that houses the Embassy is a white stucco-fronted red-brick building on Hans Crescent in the Knightsbridge area of London. The embassy is a suite of rooms occupying part of the ground floor of the building, which has been described as an "apartment block".<ref name="nytimes20120816"/>

Ecuador also maintains a Consulate in Uganda House on Trafalgar Square (a building it shares with the Embassy of Burundi and the High Commission of Uganda) and an Office of the Naval Assistant & Permanent Rep. to the International Maritime Organization at 61 Wimbledon Hill Road, Wimbledon.

Asylum refuge

File:Julian Assange in Ecuadorian Embassy.jpg
Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in August 2012.
File:Ecuador's London embassy 16 August 2012.jpg
Press outside the embassy in August 2012

Template:As of, Julian Assange is a resident in the embassy, after initially entering it on 19 June 2012 claiming diplomatic asylum,<ref name="ft20120815"/><ref name="nytimes20120816"/><ref name=BBC19259623/> which was eventually granted by the Ecuadorian government on 16 August 2012.<ref name=nytimes20120816/><ref name="BBCNews"/><ref name="mmrree.gob.ec"/>

The British government had suggested it could use its discretionary powers under the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987 to enter the embassy and arrest Assange<ref name="BBC19259623">Template:Cite web</ref> after giving the embassy due notice. However, it later retracted the suggestion, following condemnation from Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño and President Rafael Correa.<ref name="aljazeera">Template:Cite news</ref> Patiño described the British government's statement as "a clear breach of international law and the protocols set out in the Vienna Convention."

On 16 August 2012, both police and protesters gathered outside the embassy, with reports of minor scuffles between the two groups and arrests of some of the protesters. On 19 August 2012, Assange made a speech from a low<ref name="guardian-balcony-2012-08-19">Template:Cite news</ref> balcony of the embassy.<ref name=guardian-live-2012-08-19>Template:Cite news</ref> Assange's remarks were prefaced by a statement from Baltasar Garzón, who is heading his legal team.<ref name=guardian-live-2012-08-19/> This was followed by protests in Ecuador outside the British embassy in Quito, as well as support for Correa's approval of the asylum request.<ref name="aljazeera"/>

On 22 August, the Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa stated that Assange would be allowed to stay in the embassy indefinitely, but that Ecuador would be open to negotiations with the British government if it withdrew its threats to storm the embassy.

Press photographs taken outside the embassy were reported to have shown police notes stating that Assange was to be arrested "under all circumstances".


See also

  • Julian Assange
  • Embassy of Colombia, London



External links

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