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Ecuador defies UK threats, grants Assange (WikiLeaks) asylum

By bobcat
Aug 16, 2012
  1. Ecuador grants Assange (WikiLeaks) asylum; UK vows to ‘carry out’ extradition anyway

    Ecuador's foreign minister announced today that the country would grant asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, defying threats by the British government to storm the Ecuadorean Embassy and extradite Assange to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning in cases of alleged rape and sexual molestation.

    "We have decided to grant political asylum to him," Ricardo Patino said and criticized the U.S. and U.K. governments for failing to protect Assange from political persecution. If Assange is extradited to U.S., he will not receive a fair trial."

    The foreign minister said that Ecuador asked Sweden to promise it would not extradite Assange to the United States, but Sweden refused.

    "Asylum is a fundamental human right," Patino said, adding that "international law" overrides local laws.

    The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office called Ecuador's decision to grant Assange asylum "regrettable." "British authorities are under a binding obligation to extradite him to Sweden," a spokesman for the office said. "We shall carry out that obligation. The Ecuadorean government's decision this afternoon does not change that."

    "We will not allow Mr. Assange safe passage out of the United Kingdom," British foreign secretary William Hague said at a press conference. "Nor is there any legal basis for us to do so. The United Kingdom does not recognize the principle of diplomatic asylum."

    Moments before the announcement, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa tweeted: "No one is going to terrorize us!"

    It's unclear what will happen to Assange now. U.K. authorities say his asylum is a violation of his probation--and there is reason to believe he would be arrested if he tried to leave the embassy. "Assange is going to Sweden," Louise Mensch, a conservative member of the British Parliament, tweeted. "We are going to extradite him there. That's it and that's all.

    Assange fears that if he were extradited to Sweden, he would immediately be extradited to the United States, which has condemned WikiLeaks' publication of classified documents. Assange and his supporters say the U.S. would charge him with espionage.


    My comment: I do have the feeling he’s being victimized for leaking US classified info. Is he another Dotcom of a different kind but getting similar legal treatment?
  2. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,171   +203

    Did he actually rape anyone, or is he being scapegoated for a quick flight to the U.S ?

    When he ran wikileaks did anyone actualy get hurt by the leaked information? not just their pride or bank balance?

    Probably we will never know, justice being for sale these days. One thing seems certain, He will be living in the embassy for quite a while it seems.. :)
  3. Doctor John

    Doctor John TS Enthusiast Posts: 204   +15

    I don't see any reason why Sweden, a benign democracy, would extradite anyone who is only wanted for an investigation into a criminal offence on their own territory? All sounds a bit "paranoid/conspiracy theory" for me! :)
  4. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,103   +421

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