British Foreign Secretary William Hague has said that the UK will not allow safe passage to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to leave the country after Ecuador granted him political asylum. Assange, founder of the anti-secrecy website Wikileaks, released giant troves of secret US documents on Iraq and Afghanistan wars in 2010. Moreover, following the release of documents, Bradley Manning, a US army soldier, was arrested in Iraq on suspicion of having passed the classified documents to Wikileaks in May the same year. Assange and Manning have been targeted by the US government as criminals since then.
Earlier in June, Assange requested political asylum at Ecuador’s embassy in London to avoid his extradition to Sweden, where he was accused of sexual offences. On August 16, 2012, Ecuador’s government granted asylum to Assange after Britain threatened to storm Ecuadorian embassy and arrest Assange. Supporters of Assange have spent the night outside the Ecuadorian embassy protesting against the UK Police forces’ threat to arrest him, media reports said (17 August 2012).