Julian Assange seeks asylum from Ecuador

June 19, 2012 | By | 5 Replies More

Julian Assange, facing imminent extradition to Sweden, has decided to seek asylum from Ecuador. Glenn Greenwald explains why this is an utterly rational decision for the creator of Wikileaks:

In 2010, a top official from that country offered Assange residency (though the Ecuadorian President backtracked after controversy ensued). Earlier this month, Assange interviewed that nation’s left-wing President, Rafael Correa, for his television program on RT. Among other things, Correa praised the transparency brought about by WikiLeaks’ release of diplomatic cables as being beneficial for Ecuador (“We have nothing to hide. If anything, the WikiLeaks [releases] have made us stronger”). President Correa also was quite critical of the U.S., explaining the reason he closed the American base in his country this way: “Would you accept a foreign military base in your country? It’s so simple, as I said that at the time, there is no problem in having a U.S. military base in Ecuador but ok, perfect – we can give permission for the intelligence base only if they allow us to install an Ecuadorian base in the United States, a military base. That’s it, no more problem.”

Image by Wikimedia Commons

In this same article, Greenwald explains why Assange has no reason to expect fair treatment from Sweden or the United States. See also this post, indicating that the U.S. prosecution of Assange is an attack on democracy itself. The “crime” of Assange is that he has done, only better, what the New York Times does when it wins awards.


Category: Law Enforcement Abuses, Orwellian, Secrecy, Whistle-blowers

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (5)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    From Democracy Now:

    “In my view, it is a situation of political persecution of Julian Assange for his political activities,” says Michael Ratner, a member of Assange’s legal team. “It does fit within the asylum application procedure under the Declaration of Human Rights.” In an apparent reference to the United States, an Ecuadorian official said Assange fears being extradited “to a country where espionage and treason are punished with the death penalty.”

  2. Tim Hogan says:

    I am the quintessential cynic when it comes to the motives of law enforcement but, if I recall my international law lessons well the treaty which establised the EU bars extradition from a member country to another if the receiving country has the death penalty as a punishment for the offense which the person is sought. If the US wants Mr. Assange, they will have to formally waive the death penalty if any EU member is to extradite him to the US.

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    According to the AP:

    Assange’s lawyer Jennifer Robinson said Saturday that filmmaker Michael Moore has sent Assange a message of support, urging him not to despair.

    Robinson posted an email sent by Moore, among supporters who offered money to meet Assange’s 200,000 pounds ($316,000) bail, to her Twitter account.

    In the message, sent Wednesday, Moore told the WikiLeaks founder it was a crime “that you even have to seek asylum, and I stand with you through this. Do not despair.”

  4. Erich Vieth says:

    More from Glenn Greenwald at them mal-treatment of Julian Assange by the sub-servient mainstream media:

    One of the hallmarks of the establishment media is how it reverses its ostensible function: it is servile and reverent when reporting on or questioning the nation’s most powerful actors, yet becomes aggressively adversarial only toward those who challenge establishment factions and who are loathed within them. In sum, these media outlets are orthodoxy enforcers, little high school clique monitors venerating the popular and scorning the outcasts. The vitriolic media discussions this week of the widely-loathed-in-D.C.-and-London Julian Assange provided a perfect example (watch this incredibly hostile CNN interview with an Assange supporter and ask whether any upstanding, respected figure of D.C. power would ever be treated that way in a CNN interview).


  5. Erich Vieth says:

    From Al Jazeera:

    Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa has slammed what he called Britain’s “vulgar threats” to remove WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from the Ecuador embassy in London where he has been granted asylum.

    “Never, as long as I am president, will Ecuador accept threats like these, which are absolutely vulgar, inconsiderate and intolerable,” Correa said in a weekly statement on Saturday.

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