Ecuador is concerned about the health of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange who apparently is losing weight and is suffering from vision problems.
Assange is hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy trying to avoid being sent to Sweden to answer allegations of sexual abuse. Assange claims that he is too important to the world to deal with the allegations which he claims were invented by CIA goons to get him extradited to the US.
However it turns out that life in the Ecuadorian embassy has not been good for his health.
The Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patino, told reporters in Quito he had requested a meeting with his British counterpart, William Hague.
Ecuador said it had asked the British government for written assurances that Assange, who has been granted asylum by Quito, will not be arrested in the event he has to go to hospital.
It is not clear why the British would actually give this assurance to a person who is not one of its citizens and who has played the justice system for more than a year.
After all, based on his previous behaviour Assange might just sneak of to an airport and escape to Ecuador. When you arrive you give a snarky press conference about how you defeated a plot by MI6 to keep you locked up in an embassy. Weight loss and eye sight problems are fairly easy to fake, you just eat less for a few months and walk into a few walls. He has moaned to the press that he has a bit of a cough too.
His weight loss might also be due to the fact that he works out every day now using a running machine, boxing and working out every other day with a personal trainer.
Patino said he hoped that the British government would defend and respect human rights and international law.
Ecuador’s deputy Foreign Minister, Marco Albuja said that in case of Assange is seriously ill the government will have to either treat Assange at the embassy or to hospitalise him.
Curiously this is all news to Britain’s Foreign Office which said that it had not yet received a request or heard that Assange was under the weather.
The British would certainly consider the matter, a spokesperson told Reuters .