The UK Government shames us all...
posted by Keito
2012-08-17 19:46:27I'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.
RT: UK threats help Assange cause; West hostile to whistleblowers
posted by Keito
Ecuador grants Wikileaks founder asylum
posted by Keito
2012-08-16 14:58:29I can only commend the decision made by Ecuador to grant Julian Assange political asylum. I continue to be greatly disappointed in the UK government and judicial system, bowing to pressure from the war criminals in the west.
'Ecuador has granted asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange two months after he took refuge in its London embassy while fighting extradition from the UK.
It said there were fears Mr Assange's human rights might be violated.
Foreign minister Ricardo Patino accused the UK of making an "open threat" to enter its embassy to arrest him.
Mr Assange took refuge at the embassy in June to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces questioning over assault and rape claims, which he denies.
The Australian national said being granted political asylum by Ecuador was a "significant victory" and thanked staff in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
However, as the Foreign Office insisted the decision would not affect the UK's legal obligation to extradite him to Sweden, Mr Assange warned: "Things will get more stressful now."
Announcing Ecuador's decision, Mr Patino said the country believed Mr Assange's fears of political persecution were "legitimate".
He said the country was being loyal to its tradition of protecting those who were vulnerable.
"We trust that our friendship with the United Kingdom will remain intact," he added.
The announcement was watched live by Mr Assange and embassy staff in a link to a press conference from Quito.
The Foreign Office said it was "disappointed" by the statement issued by Ecuador's foreign minister.
It said in a statement: "Under our law, with Mr Assange having exhausted all options of appeal, the British authorities are under a binding obligation to extradite him to Sweden.
"We shall carry out that obligation. The Ecuadorian government's decision this afternoon does not change that."
The Foreign Office said it remained committed to reaching a "negotiated solution" that allows it to carry it "obligations under the Extradition Act".
It means Mr Assange's arrest would still be sought if he leaves the embassy.
On Twitter, Sweden's foreign minister, Carl Bildt, said the country's "firm legal and constitutional system guarantees the rights of each and everyone".
"We firmly reject any accusations to the contrary."
Outside Ecuador's embassy in London, the BBC's James Robbins said Mr Assange's assembled supporters were delighted.
"The political temperature has risen very significantly. It is clear this is only the beginning of a very long legal contest," he said.
And BBC legal correspondent Clive Coleman said there was now a "complete standoff" between the UK and Ecuador regarding the status of the embassy in London.
He said the British government now had to make a decision, adding that the risks were enormous - including making other embassies around the world vulnerable.
"I imagine the Foreign Office is awash with lawyers, discussing their options," said our correspondent.
Sex offence accusations
"I would be very surprised if that power was used - certainly in the short term," he added.
Mr Assange entered the embassy after the UK's Supreme Court dismissed the Australian national's bid to reopen his appeal against extradition and gave him a two-week grace period before extradition proceedings could start.
It was during that fortnight, while on bail, that he sought refuge.
A subsequent offer by Ecuador to allow Swedish investigators to interview Mr Assange inside the embassy was rejected.
The Wikileaks website Mr Assange founded published a mass of leaked diplomatic cables that embarrassed several governments, particularly the US's, in 2010.
Earlier, the UK Foreign Office warned it could lift the embassy's diplomatic status to fulfil a "legal obligation" to extradite the 41-year-old by using the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987.
That allows the UK to revoke the diplomatic status of an embassy on UK soil, which would potentially allow police to enter the building to arrest Mr Assange for breaching the terms of his bail.
Mr Assange says he fears that if extradited to Sweden, he will then be passed on to the American authorities.
In 2010, two female ex-Wikileaks volunteers accused Mr Assange, an Australian citizen, of committing sexual offences against them while he was in Stockholm to give a lecture.
Mr Assange claims the sex was consensual and the allegations are politically motivated.'
Craig Murray (Former Ambassador, Human Rights Activist): America’s Vassal Acts Decisively and Illegally
posted by Keito
2012-08-16 12:38:49'I returned to the UK today to be astonished by private confirmation from within the FCO that the UK government has indeed decided – after immense pressure from the Obama administration – to enter the Ecuadorean Embassy and seize Julian Assange.
This will be, beyond any argument, a blatant breach of the Vienna Convention of 1961, to which the UK is one of the original parties and which encodes the centuries – arguably millennia – of practice which have enabled diplomatic relations to function. The Vienna Convention is the most subscribed single international treaty in the world.
The provisions of the Vienna Convention on the status of diplomatic premises are expressed in deliberately absolute terms. There is no modification or qualification elsewhere in the treaty.
1.The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter
them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.
2.The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises
of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the
mission or impairment of its dignity.
3.The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of
transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.
Not even the Chinese government tried to enter the US Embassy to arrest the Chinese dissident Chen Guangchen. Even during the decades of the Cold War, defectors or dissidents were never seized from each other’s embassies. Murder in Samarkand relates in detail my attempts in the British Embassy to help Uzbek dissidents. This terrible breach of international law will result in British Embassies being subject to raids and harassment worldwide.
The government’s calculation is that, unlike Ecuador, Britain is a strong enough power to deter such intrusions. This is yet another symptom of the “might is right” principle in international relations, in the era of the neo-conservative abandonment of the idea of the rule of international law.
The British Government bases its argument on domestic British legislation. But the domestic legislation of a country cannot counter its obligations in international law, unless it chooses to withdraw from them. If the government does not wish to follow the obligations imposed on it by the Vienna Convention, it has the right to resile from it – which would leave British diplomats with no protection worldwide.
I hope to have more information soon on the threats used by the US administration. William Hague had been supporting the move against the concerted advice of his own officials; Ken Clarke has been opposing the move against the advice of his. I gather the decision to act has been taken in Number 10.
There appears to have been no input of any kind from the Liberal Democrats. That opens a wider question – there appears to be no “liberal” impact now in any question of coalition policy. It is amazing how government salaries and privileges and ministerial limousines are worth far more than any belief to these people. I cannot now conceive how I was a member of that party for over thirty years, deluded into a genuine belief that they had principles.'
Assange will be refused safe passage even if Ecuador grants asylum - Foreign Office
posted by Keito
2012-08-16 12:29:23'The UK will do everything in its power to block Assange’s passage to Ecuador even if he is granted asylum by the nation’s government, officials said, claiming a legal obligation to extradite the WikiLeaks founder to Sweden.
UK authorities sparked a scandal when they announced they were prepared to raid the Ecuadorian embassy in London in order to apprehend Assange, effectively revoking the embassy’s diplomatic immunity.
In response, the Ecuadorian National Assembly President Fernando Cordero called an emergency meeting to assess "unusual and arrogant threat to pave our embassy in London."
"Giving asylum doesn't fundamentally change anything," said a spokesperson from the UK Foreign Office.
"We must be absolutely clear this means that should we receive a request for safe passage for Mr Assange, after granting asylum, this would be refused."
The Ecuadorian foreign minister said that such an act would be interpreted as “hostile and intolerable,” and an attack on Ecuador’s sovereignty that would provoke a dramatic diplomatic response.'