Christine Assange has arrived in Quito, Ecuador to meet government officials and the country's foreign minister. She hopes to plead her son's case for political asylum.
The official El Ciudadano (Spanish language) news outlet in Quito reports that Christine Assange has arrived in Ecuador to speak with government officials and the Ecuadorian foreign minister, Ricardo Patino.
Julian Assange has been at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for over a month. He fears that if extradited to Sweden over rape and sexual molestation claims, the Swedish authorities would then hand him over to the U.S. on espionage charges, and has been pleading for political asylum in Ecuador.
On arriving in Quito, Christine Assange told reporters that her son was seeking asylum in Ecuador because that country protects human rights. She referred to a recent interview between Julian Assange and Ecuadorian president, Rafael Correa.
Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks.
She further said that if Julian Assange was extradited to the U.S., he could face many years in prison with torture, as has happened to whistleblower Bradley Manning, or even the death penalty.
"If they did that to a U.S. citizen, they would have fewer qualms about doing it to a foreigner," she added.
Christine Assange thanked the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where the WikiLeaks founder remains for over a month, saying, "I am grateful for the facilities offered to my son in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London."
Christine Assange told reporters that she doesn't know if Ecuador will grant her son asylum. She said, "This will be a decision of the Government of Ecuador. Surely, the President and his collaborators will make the best decision."
In an interview on a local television station earlier this month, President Rafael Correa said, "Ecuador will make its own, independent decision. The case is under review."
Correa further noted that capital punishment exists in the U.S. for a "political crime," and that fact could be sufficient grounds to grant Julian Assange asylum. He stressed that he was not afraid of international repercussions from Ecuador's final decision and said, "We have to see whether everything that's being done in the case of Julian Assange is compatible with ... the constitution and our view of human rights, political rights and due process."
Christine Assange will be meeting Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino tomorrow to discuss her son's asylum bid.
As reported on Digital Journal, Ecuador hopes to reach a decision on August 12, after the London Olympics 2012 have ended. Patino told reporters, "We will take decisions that do not affect our relations with Britain," explaining that Quito would be careful not to disrupt the Olympic Games.
Video: Earlier interview with Christine Assange.