WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has decided to seek political asylum in Ecuador in an effort to avoid being extradited to Sweden for questioning in a sexual misconduct case.
Assange has published classified diplomatic cables as being in the interests of the publics right to know. Yet, is seeking refuge in a country with one of the worst freedom of press records in Latin America.
Since taking office five years ago, Rafael Correa has engaged in a coordinated and calculated campaign to restrict freedom of the press.
Correa has sued journalists and clamped down on the media with new laws, while expanding state media outlets. Correa claims that he is merely demanding fairness from a sensational industry.
Of course, a crackdown on media outlets benefits President Correa because the media has been one of Correa’s harshest critics.
Though the erosion of press freedom in Ecuador is distressing, this decision to seek asylum in Ecuador may tell us something revealing about Julian Assange.
Despite all his rhetoric about the publics right to know and freedom of expression, Assange has proven himself to be just another hypocrite, more interested in saving his own behind.
A sad day for Assange supporters indeed.