WikiLeaks’ Assange seeks asylum in Ecuador

This video is called Collateral Murder – Wikileaks – Iraq.

By Kate Randall in Britain:

WikiLeaks founder Assange seeks asylum in Ecuadorian embassy in London

20 June 2012

Julian Assange sought political asylum Tuesday at the Ecuadorian Embassy in Britain. The WikiLeaks founder walked into the embassy in London’s Knightsbridge district, asking for asylum under the United Nations Human Rights Declaration.

Assange’s asylum application said he was forced to make his request because his lawyers had received a “factual statement of abandonment” from the Australian government. “Such statements,” he said, “make it impossible for me to return to my home country.”

Assange said he faced being interrogated in Sweden, “where its top officials have openly attacked me,” and being indicted “for political crimes in the United States of America, a country where the death penalty for such offenses is still in force.”

Ricardo Patino, Ecuador’s foreign minister, told reporters in Quito, “Ecuador is studying and analyzing the request.” A message posted on the WikiLeaks Twitter account read: “We will have more details on the Ecuadorian situation soon.”

The move by Assange is the latest in an effort to halt his extradition to Sweden, where he faces trumped-up allegations of sexual misconduct. Assange has denied the allegations.

He was arrested in London in December 2010 on a European arrest warrant. Assange has never been charged with any crime, in Sweden or elsewhere.

Last week, the United Kingdom Supreme Court, Britain’s highest court, unanimously rejected Assange’s final bid to reopen the appeal against his extradition. The June 14 ruling upheld a May 30 decision by the Supreme Court judges, who by a 5 to 2 majority rejected arguments by Assange’s lawyers that the European warrant for his arrest and extradition was invalid.

Lawyers for the WikiLeaks editor had argued that the warrant was invalid, as it was issued by a Swedish prosecutor, who was not a “judicial authority” under UK extradition laws.

Barring asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy or any other last-minute efforts, Assange could be forcibly removed to Sweden as early as June 28. In Sweden, he could be held—and detained incommunicado for months—before any charges were laid related to the dubious allegations of sexual assault.

In Sweden, Assange would in all likelihood be held in much more restrictive conditions than those during his 18-month house arrest in Britain. This could effectively put an end to his already restricted ability to defend himself publicly, participate in the work of WikiLeaks and communicate with the media.

If extradited to Sweden, Assange could then face extradition to the United States. The Obama administration has prepared a secret Grand Jury indictment on charges of espionage, based on the publication by WikiLeaks of documents exposing war crimes and intrigues by the US and other governments around the world. He could also be held indefinitely and without trial under the police-state provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act signed by Obama last December 31.

Assange was arrested in 2010, only days after WikiLeaks released thousands of secret US embassy cables that detailed the involvement of the US and other governments in torture, renditions, assassinations and regime-change. The Obama administration’s witch-hunt against Assange came in response, in particular, to WikiLeaks’ release of thousands of documents exposing the criminal nature of the US-led military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Assange could still appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on the grounds that he has not received a fair hearing in the British Courts. While his lawyers have yet to decide whether to file such an appeal, legal experts say it is unlikely the ECHR would accept the case.

See also here.

President Correa, Please Protect Julian Assange From My Government. Robert Naiman, Truthout: “If the US government succeeds in prosecuting Assange under the Espionage Act for helping to disclose the WikiLeaks cables, it will likely intimidate future potential whistleblowers, making it harder to reveal important secrets about US foreign policy in the future and, therefore, making it harder to reform US foreign policy in the future. That’s why I’m urging Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa to grant Julian Assange’s request for political asylum”: here.

Prominent Americans Urge Ecuador to Accept Julian Assange’s Asylum Request. Ben Quinn, The Guardian UK: “A letter signed by leading US figures in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s application for political asylum in Ecuador has been delivered to the country’s London embassy. Among those who signed the letter were Michael Moore, Oliver Stone, Noam Chomsky and Danny Glover”: here.

Joint Resoluton of Leftist Political Parties in Latin America Calls for Assange to be Given Asylum in Ecuador: here.

Assange: More threats against Ecuador on FoxNews: here.

In a single Guardian article on Ecuador, Mark Weisbrot makes a mockery of much that was written on Assange and Ecuador: here.

Christine Assange, the mother of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, spoke with the World Socialist Web Site yesterday about the escalating legal conspiracy against her son and his recent application for political asylum in Ecuador: here. See also here.

While the Obama administration and its allies continue to deny the existence of a sealed US Grand Jury indictment against Julian Assange, further information has come to light about the extent of Washington’s operation against the founder of the WikiLeaks web site: here.

A military judge on June 25 ordered Army prosecutors to address accusations that they have withheld evidence from the defense team of accused whistleblower Bradley Manning: here.

A military judge barred US army private Bradley Manning on Thursday from presenting evidence that the information he’s accused of leaking did little harm to US national security: here.

Evidence Shows Three-Star General Ordered Unlawful, Brutal Treatment of PFC Bradley Manning: here.

5 thoughts on “WikiLeaks’ Assange seeks asylum in Ecuador

  1. Court denies Manning records access

    Us: An army appeals court has denied a request for public access to military court records in the case of Private Bradley Manning.

    The Centre for Constitutional Rights had filed the petition on behalf of WikiLeaks, its founder Julian Assange and five journalists.

    The group says it will appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces in Washington.


  2. Pingback: WikiLeaks on Syrian regime-Western corporations links | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Garzon takes on Assange defence

    ECUADOR: Spanish human rights investigator Judge Baltasar Garzon said today that he will lead the legal team representing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

    Mr Assange is currently seeking political asylum at the Ecuadoran embassy in London after losing his legal battle to avoid extradition to Sweden over rape and sexual assault claims.

    Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa said that the country will take its time considering the asylum application.


  4. Pingback: Ecuador’s asylum for Wikileaks’ Assange | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: WikiLeaks’ Assange speech in London, England | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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