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article imageAssange to give public address at Ecuadorian embassy on Sunday

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By Anne Sewell     Aug 19, 2012 in World
London - Julian Assange will be giving a public address to supporters at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on Sunday afternoon. Ecuador held a meeting of ALBA on Saturday.
It is now two months since Julian Assange entered the Ecuadorian embassy, seeking political asylum.
He was to be extradited by the U.K. government to Sweden for questioning on sex-related crimes, which he denies, and it was feared he would then be sent on to the U.S. on espionage charges relating to the diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, which have angered and embarrassed the U.S. government.
Officials in Stockholm have been invited to interview Assange about the allegations at the embassy by the Ecuadorian government, but they have refused to do so.
Assange remains holed up in the embassy, as the British government has refused to grant him safe passage to leave the country and travel to Ecuador.
Assange will be giving his first public speech since Ecuador granted him asylum on August 16. The time of the address is 13h00 GMT or 14h00 GMT, depending on the media report, on Sunday August 19.
There were questions raised as to whether Assange would go outside the embassy to make the address. However, Reuters have reported that workmen are setting up a balcony ready for his speech. London police are reportedly on high alert, and are demanding identification from all persons entering the embassy premises. There are around 40 police officers stationed outside the embassy building on Sunday morning.
Former Spanish judge, Baltasar Garzón, who leads Assange's legal team, will also be speaking outside the Ecuadorian embassy at 11h30 GMT on Sunday, and will be available for interviews.
Meanwhile in Ecuador, President Rafael Correa states that the threat by the U.K. to raid its embassy to arrest Assange “still stands.”
Ecuador held a meeting of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) on Saturday. ALBA is made up of eight South American and Caribbean countries. The meeting adopted an eight-point resolution, which condemns the U.K. for its “intimidating threats” to violate “the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Reuters reports that the resolution also warned the British government of the “serious consequences” it would face should it act on its threats.
In a speech Correa said, "They don't know who they are dealing with, friends. Of course, the first decision was to reject - in the most energetic way - this unacceptable, intolerable threat to violate our diplomatic headquarters in London. And we have convened the OAS assembly, UNASUR and ALBA to meet this Sunday to present this intolerable situation, inadmissible in international law."
As reported by Digital Journal, the Organization of American States (OAS) voted in an overwhelming majority to meet on August 24 on the issue.
According to OAS Secretary General, Jose MIguel Insulza, “The central issue is not the right of asylum, it is the inviolability of embassies.”
Digital Journal reported on August 15, that the U.K. government had threatened to invoke the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987. This law allows the U.K. to revoke the diplomatic immunity of an embassy on U.K. soil, which would effectively allow police to enter the building and arrest Assange.
Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño said at the time that such a threat was "improper of a democratic, civilized and rule abiding country".
"If the measure announced in the British official communication is enacted, it will be interpreted by Ecuador as an unacceptable, unfriendly and hostile act and as an attempt against our sovereignty. It would force us to respond," he said. "We are not a British colony," he added in anger.
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