New Zealand Parliament To Consider Petition To Grant Assange Political Asylum - Reports

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New Zealand Parliament to Consider Petition to Grant Assange Political Asylum - Reports

The parliament of New Zealand is going to consider the petition to grant Wikileaks founder Julian Assange political asylum in the country, local media reported.

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 11th September, 2018) The parliament of New Zealand is going to consider the petition to grant Wikileaks founder Julian Assange political asylum in the country, local media reported.

The petition urging New Zealand's House of Representatives to call on the government to provide the whistleblower with permanent political asylum, including a guarantee of safe passage from the United Kingdom to New Zealand, has gathered over 2,000 signatures on the petitions section of the parliament's website.

Lawmaker Greg O'Connor, who himself is against providing asylum to Assange, will present the petition to the parliament, the Newstalk ZB portal reported.

The timing of the petition's consideration has not yet been announced.

Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in June 2012 after being accused of sexual offenses by the Swedish authorities. While the charges have since been dropped, he still fears extradition to the United States, where he is wanted for leaking Iraq War logs. According to media reports, his health has deteriorated recently and he would leave the embassy for a hospital visit in the near future, after which the whistleblower's options for taking shelter will be limited.

In March, Assange's communications with the outside world were cut off after Ecuador accused the whistleblower of putting its good ties with London at risk. The new president of the country later ordered for the extra security at the diplomatic mission to be removed.

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