WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London seeking political asylum.
He walked into the embassy, in London's Knightsbridge district, and asked for asylum under the United Nations Human Rights Declaration.
The move followed a long-running legal bid by Mr Assange to halt his extradition to Sweden, where he faces sex crime allegations.
The UK Supreme Court decided on 30 May that extradition was lawful and could go ahead.
But Mr Assange was given time to consider the judgment.
The Swedish authorities want him to answer accusations of raping a woman and sexually molesting and coercing another in Stockholm in August 2010 while on a visit to give a lecture.
Mr Assange, whose WikiLeaks website has published a mass of leaked diplomatic cables that embarrassed several governments and international businesses, says the sex was consensual and the allegations against him are politically motivated.
A man speaking from the embassy said that Mr Assange had arrived at the embassy today and was requesting political asylum.
Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino also confirmed the Australian had taken refuge at its embassy and that the country's government was weighing up the request.
A message was posted on the Wikileaks Twitter account, saying: "ALERT: Julian Assange has requested political asylum and is under the protection of the Ecuadorian embassy in London."
A statement issued on behalf of the embassy said: "This afternoon Mr Julian Assange arrived at the Ecuadorian Embassy seeking political asylum from the Ecuadorian government.
"As a signatory to the United Nations Universal Declaration for Human Rights, with an obligation to review all applications for asylum, we have immediately passed his application on to the relevant department in Quito.
"While the department assesses Mr Assange's application, Mr Assange will remain at the embassy, under the protection of the Ecuadorian Government.
"The decision to consider Mr Assange's application for protective asylum should in no way be interpreted as the Government of Ecuador interfering in the judicial processes of either the United Kingdom or Sweden."