Tag Archives: asylum

Assange will end up in Venezuela

Ecuador said Assange had expressed fears that if sent to Sweden he would be extradited to the United States where he believes he could face criminal charges punishable by death.

“I genuinely believe, and I know him well, that he fears for his life,” said Vaughan Smith, who hosted Assange at his country mansion for 13 months after the Australian was freed on bail in December 2010.

Leftist Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said his government is analyzing whether there are enough grounds to grant political asylum to Assange.

“Our constitution does not permit the death penalty. The right to due process is guaranteed,” Correa told Venezuela’s Telesur television network. “We have to analyze if these rights have been infringed, if a request for the death penalty exists.”

Correa said Ecuadorean officials will take “as long as they need to” before making a decision.

“Meanwhile, Mr. Assange will stay in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, under the protection of the Ecuadorean state,” he said.

By diplomatic convention, British police cannot enter the embassy without authorization from Ecuador. But even if Quito granted him asylum, he has no way of travelling to Ecuador without passing through London and exposing himself to arrest.

“He has breached one of his bail conditions which was to be at his bail address between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. every day … He is subject to arrest under the Bail Act,” said a spokesman for London’s Metropolitan Police.


Legal experts said it was unclear what would happen to a 240,000-pound ($377,000) deposit provided by Assange’s supporters, including a number of celebrities, to secure his bail.

Asked by Twitter by Britain’s Guardian newspaper whether she was on the hook, socialite Jemima Khan tweeted back: “Yes. I had expected him to face the allegations. I am as surprised as anyone by this.” Khan declined to say how much she had paid.

Assange, whose unpredictable behavior and love of the limelight have cost him the support of some former friends and colleagues, lost a long-running legal battle last week to avoid extradition from Britain to Sweden.

His 11th-hour decision to seek refuge in the embassy was more reminiscent of Cold War espionage dramas than the British legal process. The dramatic move drew widespread criticism.

“He is asking for protection of freedom of expression for journalists, but he is asking for asylum in a country that is basically censoring newspapers,” Frank La Rue, U.N. special investigator for freedom of expression, told Reuters.

Correa has clashed with journalists since he took office in 2007, accusing a “media dictatorship” of undermining his rule. Opponents accuse him of seeking to silence dissenting voices.

Assange expressed sympathy with Correa’s war on media while interviewing him on Russia Today, an English language TV channel sponsored by the Kremlin that employs Assange.

“Let’s get rid of these false stereotypes depicting wicked governments persecuting saint-like and courageous journalists and news outlets. Often, Julian, it’s the other way round,” Correa said during the interview.

“President Correa, I agree with your market description of the media. We have seen this again and again, that big media organizations that we have worked with … have censored our material against our agreement,” Assange said in response.

“Club of the PErsecuted”

WikiLeaks made a huge impact in 2010 by working with prestigious newspapers in several countries that published some of the material it had obtained, but later fell out with them.

Assange has been criticized for agreeing to host his own chat show on Russia Today, given the Russian authorities’ own dubious record on freedom of speech.

After disregarding diplomatic protocol by publishing cables that were supposed to be confidential, Assange is now relying on diplomatic convention to shield himself from a legal extradition process. Critics pointed to the irony.

“Getting too enamored of the idea that Julian Assange is a whistleblower misses the reality that confidentiality on the part of governments is not all bad,” US human rights ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe told reporters in Geneva.

Assange’s decision to appeal to Ecuador, which briefly offered Assange residency at the height of the WikiLeaks furor in November 2010 before backing off, follows his Russia Today interview with Correa, posted on YouTube on May 22.

“Cheer up. Welcome to the club of the persecuted,” Correa told Assange at the end of the 25-minute interview, during which the pair traded flattering comments and jokes.

Assange praised Correa for getting more done for his country than President Barack Obama was achieving for the United States.

Neither US nor Swedish authorities have charged Assange with anything. Swedish prosecutors want to question him about allegations of rape and sexual assault made by two women, former WikiLeaks volunteers, in 2010. Assange says he had consensual sex with the women.

Having exhausted all possible avenues offered by the British courts, Assange’s only option to keep fighting


Pr. Correa is very buddyish to Assange.Both men seem to like each other.What pr.Correa doesn’t like is all those hidden or exposed cables he showed his anger for in his 25 minutes interview with Julian Assange.
The only Ally for J.Assange,the only truthful honest ally with a common enemy is Chavez,Hugo Chavez president of Venezuela.
Take my word because I am south American and I know how deals are done over there.
Assange will be living ” la vida loca ” soon enough in Caracas.

Wikileaks' Julian Assange seeks asylum in Ecuador embassy

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is seeking political asylum at Ecuador’s London embassy, the country’s foreign minister has said.

“Ecuador is studying and analysing the request,” Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino told reporters in Quito.

On 14 June, Britain’s Supreme Court dismissed Mr Assange’s bid to reopen his appeal against extradition to Sweden over alleged sex crimes.

He has denied the allegations, saying they are politically motivated.

The Supreme Court has given him until 28 June before extradition proceedings can start.

Swedish prosecutors want to question Mr Assange over allegations of rape and sexual assault made by two female former Wikileaks volunteers in mid-2010 but have not filed any charges.

Mr Assange, whose Wikileaks website has published a mass of leaked diplomatic cables that embarrassed several governments and international businesses, claims the sex was consensual.
‘Minimum guarantees’

Associated Press quoted Mr Patino as telling reporters Mr Assange had written to Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa saying he was being persecuted and seeking asylum.

Mr Patino said that the Australian had claimed “the authorities in his country will not defend his minimum guarantees in front of any government or ignore the obligation to protect a politically persecuted citizen.”

Mr Assange said he would not be protected from being extradited to “a foreign country that applies the death penalty for the crime of espionage and sedition,” Mr Patino said.

The anti-secrecy campaigner fears extradition to Sweden may lead to him being sent to the US to face separate charges relating to Wikileaks, for which he could face the death penalty.

But Swedish authorities have said the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) would intervene if Mr Assange was to face the prospect of “inhuman or degrading treatment or an unfair trial” in the US.

Mr Assange could still take his case against extradition to the ECHR and has until 28 June to make the move.

Wikileaks has posted an alert on its Twitter feed: “ALERT: Julian Assange has requested political asylum and is under the protection of the Ecuadorian embassy in London.”

It said Ecuador had offered Mr Assange asylum as early as November 2010.


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