Ecuador has made the following absolutely clear:
1) Julian Assange can be questioned at their London embassy in connection with these allegations (at the moment he is only wanted for questioning);
2) If the Swedish government had given an assurance that Assange wouldn't be extradited from Sweden to US in connection with his wikileaks journalism, they would have asked him to leave their embassy and return to Sweden to face questioning long ago.
To be fair Assange himself has said the same. If you recall, he volunteered to be questioned by the Swedish authorities in September 2010 before leaving for London.
The Swedish government has the discretion to give these assurances about extradition to the USA (the executive makes the final call in extradition cases and can refuse requests which are politically motivated) and it has decided not to. In the absence of such assurances Assange is right to fear extradition from Sweden to US and Ecuador is right to offer Assange asylum.
Solidarity [254, 22 August] is wrong to support Assange's return to Sweden in the absence of such assurances. Rape suspects are held in solitary confinement in Sweden and rape trials are conducted in secret; this would give the US the perfect opportunity to begin an extradition bid.
It would take many years to extradite from UK to US (the system of appeals being such as to delay any extradition for a long time), where as the "temporary surrender" provisions in Sweden's extradition treaty with the US allows a much easier transfer of a suspect to American custody.
Assange should face justice in connection with these rape allegations, but Ecuador is absolutely correct to insist on safeguards in this case. In the absence of safeguards, they are right to offer him asylum and Solidarity is wrong to support his return to Sweden.