The siege in Knightsbridge, set off when Ecuador’s government finally granted Julian Assange political asylum on Thursday, could be a claustrophobic and tense standoff. Ecuador’s London embassy, where he took refuge after the British supreme court denied his appeal against extradition to Sweden to face charges of rape and sexual assault, comprises only the ground floor of the substantial seven-story brick building. It is now ringed with a substantial police presence, most of it to keep international media, and the WikiLeaks founder’s supporters, at bay. The British authorities have insisted they will arrest the journalist and activist if he leaves the building for breaking his bail conditions. The 12-room embassy has no sleeping accommodation, though a shower has been installed for the 41-year-old Assange and he has been able to write updates to his Twitter account.
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