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  • Julian Assange row: OAS gives Ecuador partial support

    posted by Keito
    2012-08-25 00:20:53
    'Foreign ministers from the American continent have passed a motion backing the "inviolability of diplomatic missions" amid the row between the UK and Ecuador over Julian Assange.

    The Wikileaks founder is in Ecuador's London embassy fighting extradition to Sweden over sexual assault claims.

    Ecuador called for the Organisation of American States vote saying the UK had threatened to storm the embassy.

    But the resolution was reworded after the UK insisted it had made no threat.

    'Human rights'

    The BBC's Kim Ghattas said the resolution expressed solidarity with Ecuador but, despite a strong plea from Ecuador's foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, there was no reference to any threat against his country's embassy in London.

    The United States withdrew its opposition to the resolution after the text was amended.

    Australian Mr Assange, 41 - whose Wikileaks website has published a mass of leaked diplomatic cables embarrassing countries including the US - has been fighting extradition to Sweden saying he fears he will then be passed on to authorities in US.

    In May the UK Supreme Court dismissed Mr Assange's bid to reopen his appeal against extradition and gave him a two-week grace period - during which he entered Ecuador's embassy - before extradition proceedings could start.

    The South American announced it had granted Mr Assange asylum on 16 August saying his human rights could be violated if he is sent to Sweden to be questioned over allegations that he sexually assaulted two ex-Wikileaks volunteers in Stockholm in 2010.

    But the UK has said it will not allow him safe passage out of the country and has said it will follow its obligations, under the Extradition Act, to arrest Mr Assange if he leaves the embassy.

    'International law'

    The meeting of the OAS, which represents 35 states in the Caribbean and North and South America, was called by Ecuador after it received a letter from the UK last week.

    Ecuador said the letter, which drew attention to the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987 which would potentially allow the UK to lift the embassy's diplomatic status to allow police to enter the building, was a "threat".

    The Foreign Office later said the letter had been sent to clarify "all aspects of British law that Ecuador should be aware of".

    During the meeting in Washington DC, Mr Patino had called on the UK to withdraw its threat and guarantee it would not storm the diplomatic mission.

    The UK, which has observer status at the OAS, insisted no threat was ever made and the UK remained committed to honouring international law.

    The representative of the Dominican Republic had questioned why the meeting was called since the row over Mr Assange was not going to be solved there, especially not with any grandstanding by Ecuador.

    Earlier this week Ecuador's President Rafael Correa told the BBC the diplomatic row over Mr Assange "could be ended tomorrow" if Britain gave him safe passage to Ecuador.

    But Mr Correa said without that, the situation could go on for years.

    The US is carrying out an investigation into Wikileaks, which has published a mass of leaked diplomatic cables, embarrassing several governments and international businesses.

    In 2010, two female ex-Wikileaks volunteers accused Mr Assange of committing sexual offences against them while he was in Stockholm to give a lecture.

    He claims the sex was consensual and the allegations are politically motivated. He says he fears onward extradition to the US if extradited to Sweden because of his website's publication of confidential documents.'

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19377110
  • VIDEO: Assange Public Statement from Ecuadorian Embassy 2012-08-19

    posted by Keito
    2012-08-19 15:44:47
  • The UK Government shames us all...

    posted by Keito
    2012-08-17 19:46:27
    I'm figuratively blown away by the amount of money being wasted to try to get hold of Julian Assange. What new depths will the UK stoop to? According to some reports it could cost the taxpayer £50,000/day. Whoever thinks this is a good way for our government to spend money needs their head examining.

    The government is so determined to secure his arrest, they plan to implement heat detection technologies to ensure he isn't smuggled out of the embassy via the use of a diplomatic package (which should be immune from interference anyway).

    I think we're about to see just how little the UK cares for abiding by international treaties and laws.

    Our arsehole government pandered to Pinochet, whose crimes were insurmountable. Yet, when it comes to extradition of a man for the lack of wearing a condom, well, the corrupt UK politicians seem willing to lube up and bend over for their White House overlords at the earliest possible convenience.

    Anyone who still thinks this whole Assange debacle has anything to do with a bullshit sex-crime is living in a dreamworld.

    Our politicians actions are defining a generation, our future... our children's future.

    They are paving the way for secrets, lies, war-crimes, injustice, corruption, corporate greed and control over our political stage by unscrupulous men and women. They are trying to send a message to any and all future human rights activists and freedom advocates.... You can't touch the evil governments of this world, they'll go to great lengths to shut you up. They'll break international law, they'll drop any and all diplomatic principles in their pursuit.

    Apparently the UK deems upholding some extradition law (over a bullshit made-up charge) is more important than internationally agreed treaties, laws and relations. We'd be willing to harm relations with an entire nation - at great risk, in order to see that one man is sent to a country to get - at worst - a fine.

    But we all know Assange won't get a fine, should he get extradited... he'll get some American Gulag, or the death penalty... all for showing the world that our beloved 'freedom-loving' western governments have much blood on their hands.

    Our politicians deserve locking up. Their actions are an outrage.
  • Russia issues warning to Britain over Assange

    posted by Keito
    2012-08-17 18:53:16
    'Russia on Friday warned Britain against violating fundamental diplomatic principles after London suggested it could arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange inside Ecuador's embassy.

    "What is happening gives grounds to contemplate the observance of the spirit and the letter of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and in particular the Article 22 spelling out the inviolability of diplomatic premises," the Russian foreign ministry said.

    Ecuador on Thursday granted asylum to Assange -- whose website enraged the United States by publishing a vast cache of confidential government files -- but Britain has vowed not to grant him safe passage out of the country.

    British Foreign Secretary William Hague has said his government was obliged under its own law to extradite the Australian national to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over alleged sex crimes.

    Britain has angered Ecuador by suggesting it could invoke a domestic law allowing it to breach the usual rules and go in to arrest Assange, who has been holed up in Ecuador's London mission since June.

    This would challenge a fundamental principle of the diplomatic system, and the threat has left Britain in unchartered legal waters.

    At the same time, Moscow warned Britain against interpreting the law selectively, stressing that London has given refuge to "dozens of people suspected of committing grave crimes" who are wanted in other countries.

    "What to do with a right to refuge for Julian Assange when London turns the observance of this right for this category of people into an absolute principle?" the Russian foreign ministry asked, referring to a number of high-profile figures granted asylum in Britain.

    Russia has for years sought the extradition of top Kremlin critic Boris Berezovsky as well as several other figures.'

    http://www.france24.com/en/20120817-russia-issues-warning-britain-over-assange
  • RT: UK threats help Assange cause; West hostile to whistleblowers

    posted by Keito
    2012-08-16 22:47:30