Author Topic: 2012-06-23 Live Blog: Assange requests political asylum from Ecuador  (Read 900 times)

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2012-06-23 Live Blog: Assange requests political asylum from Ecuador Archive - Day 7 & 8

Submitted by M on Wed, 06/27/2012 - 16:45

This is part of our live-coverage on Julian Assange's request for political asylum. The most recent news is available here. See the archives of our live blog: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5&6, Day 7&8.

Follow @wl_central on Twitter for all the latest updates.

WikiLeaks announcedvia Twitter on the evening of June 19 (19:40 local time) that Julian Assange has requested political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

This comes after the UK Supreme Court refused a submission to reopen his case on June 14. Julian Assange has spent 560 days under house arrest without charge. His extradition to Sweden is set between June 28 and July 7.

Mr Assange will remain at the embassy under the protection of the Ecuadorian government while they process his request.

In his statement to the Diplomatic Mission of Ecuador, Julian Assange commented on his abandonment by his home country, Australia, as well as the threat of the death penalty in the U.S.

Ecuador offered political asylum to Julian Assange in November 2010. At that time, Vice Chancellor Kintto Lucas stated, "We are open to grant him Ecuadorian residency, without any kind of problem or any kind of conditions." (President Rafeal Correa afterwards stated the offer was not official.)

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa was a guest on Julian Assange's talk show "The World Tomorrow" this past May. The full interview is available online in English, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and Arabic.

Updates will be added as they become available.


[UPDATE: 20:23 BST] Democracy Now! reported on the latest in Julian Assange's bid for asylum, with Ecuador's Ambassador to Britain, Anna Alban, returning to Ecuador to discuss his application. Ms Alban said the following:

We have offered him the ease to survive” food and access to some people that come to visit him. We are diligently providing him with the basics. This is what we have undertaken while this matter is worked out and a decision is made according to the Ecuadorian government's position.

Watch the video clip below:

[UPDATE: 16:45 BST] Glenn Greenwald wrote a very detailed blog post in response to Twitter arguments against Julian Assange and his decision to seek asylum.

Barrister Greg Barns responded to an article on ABC Religion and Ethics which said Sweden should be respected for its handling of the Assange case.

Vaughan Smith published an email he sent in response to the manner his CNN interview about Julian Assange and his decision for asylum was conducted.

Latin American political analyst Thiago de Aragao and international law expert Professor Donald Rothwell were on Late Night Live Radio discussing Julian Assange's decision to see asylum and "Why Ecuador needs him".

Brisbane activist Ciaron O'Reilly was interviewed on ABC Radio about Julian Assange and his asylum application.

[UPDATE: 02:33 BST] A video has been uploaded of Robert Naiman hand delivering a letter to the Ecuadorian Embassy in London requesting Julian Assange be granted asylum. He hands over two petitions: one signed by prominent American supporters such as Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Danny Glover, Oliver Stone, Bill Maher, and Patch Adams, and a second signed by over 4,000 supporters. Read the letter here. The petition is still available to sign at the Just Foreign Policy website.

WL Central published an article entitled "Assange, Diplomacy, and Duplicity" which discusses the Washington Post's flip-flopping when discussing the U.S. threat against Julian Assange. Glenn Greenwald also commented on the same in the following tweet, mentioning The Guardian and the Wall Street Journal as well:

Only someone paranoid would think US is trying to prosecute/extradite Assange

— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 25, 2012

[UPDATE: 2012-06-26 01:55 BST] Washington Post wrote on other prominent cases of people seeking asylum, listing Chen Guangcheng (2012), Manuel Noriega (1989), Fang Lizhi (1989), Edward Lee Howard (1986), Cubans in Havana (1980), Svetlana Stalin (1966), and Cardinal Jozsef Mindszenty (1956).

[UPDATE: 2012-06-26 01:35 BST] Ecuador lawyers are currently studying the political and legal ramifications of granting asylum to Julian Assange. An estimated date of the decision is yet to be made available.

Otto Reich, who served as a senior official in the Bush Jr., Bush Sr., and Reagan administrations, wrote an Op-Ed stating that the U.S. should not sign any new trade agreements with Ecuador were they to accept Julian Assange into political asylum. In the article he labels Mr Assange as an "accused sex-criminal" and vehemently attacks Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa.

Robert Naiman, policy director at Just Foreign Policy, says that many Americans support Julian Assange, referencing a letter signed by supporters requesting that Ecuador take him into asylum. Listen to his interview in the video below:

Daily Beast/Newsweek named Julian Assange as #1 in its Power Index on Revolutionaries. The blurb about him reads:

The Australian who turned a precocious hacking habit into an activist crusade for freedom of information founded WikiLeaks in 2006. Julian Assange and his site rose to prominence with the release of classified documents revealing government corruption, civilian casualties in the Iraq and Afghan wars, and the full text of Sarah Palin's emails. The organization's most recent coup: publishing internal emails from global intelligence firm Stratfor. For his part, Assange remains holed up in Ecuador to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he's accused of sexual misconduct. He launched a talk show in April.

An article in OpEdNews by former FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley reminds readers that Julian Assange was awarded the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in 2010. Sam Adams associates delivered a letter to the Ecuadorian Embassy in Washington requesting that Julian Assange be granted asylum.

Cryptome published translations of some coverage of Mr Assange's application for extradition from Ecuadorian newspapers.

[UPDATE: 14:05 BST] Christine Assange gave an interview with WSWS about her son's decision to seek asylum.

Some people have said he is trying to run away, but they [the authorities] have backed him into a corner where he has nowhere else to go.

Julian is the only person in these proceedings who has followed the law. Everybody else has been either breaching protocols or procedures. The Supreme Court was so focused on getting him over there [to Sweden] that it actually said he had been charged, when in fact, as everybody knows, there are only allegations. It also brought in new information into an appeal court, which is unheard of.

Dangerous precedents are being set all the time because of US pressure on other people's governments, and that's what happened with the Australian Extradition Act.

Julian's asylum application is great. He has gone through all the court procedures but had his legal and human rights abused, and the Australian government has abandoned him. US politicians and commentators have called for him to be assassinated, and the government is trying to get him on any charge it can. According to the UN special rapporteur on torture, Bradley Manning has been tortured. The US is trying to get him to such a degraded state that he will falsely implicate Julian.

There are the emails from Stratfor, which reveal that there is an existing, sealed Grand Jury indictment on Julian, so he has every reason to fear for his life.

Read the full interview here.

Mr Assange's application has sparked discussion about how he could get from the Ecuadorian Embassy to the airport if he is granted asylum.

[UPDATE: 13:30 BST] A member of the Swedish Division for Criminal Cases and International Judicial Cooperation stated that Sweden is unable to offer guarantees that Julian Assange will not be extradited to the U.S.

Christine Assange gave an exclusive interview with Voice of Russia. She discusses the deliberate media smears against Julian, how he has offered to be questioned for two years about the Swedish allegations, his asylum application, and how he is doing at the Ecuadorian Embassy. Listen to the full interview here.

[UPDATE: 2012-06-25 01:12 BST] Oscar Swartz, author of "A Brief History of Swedish Sex", commented on Julian Assange's decision to seek asylum, saying he isn't worried about the allegations in Sweden, rather his potential onward extradition to the U.S. Watch his appearance on RT below:

A "Twibbon" has been created for people to add to their Twitter avatars in support of Julian Assange.2012-06-23 Live Blog: Assange requests political asylum from Ecuador (Archive - Day 5 & 6)up2012-06-25 Assange, Diplomacy, and Duplicity

« Last Edit: June 28, 2012, 00:31:27 AM by Green »

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