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ASSANGE EXTRADITION FIGHT
Minister: OAS 'not angry' at Sweden over Assange

Minister: OAS 'not angry' at Sweden over Assange

Published: 29 Aug 2012 15:31 GMT+02:00
Updated: 29 Aug 2012 15:31 GMT+02:00

South American nations’ support of Ecuador over the country's decision to grant aslylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should not be seen as a criticism of Sweden, Brazil’s foreign minister Antonio Patriota said in Stockholm on Wednesday.

The past few weeks has seen the Organization of the American States (OAS) and The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) express their support for Ecuador and the country’s asylum decision for Assange, who remains in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

However this support should not be taken as a critical response to Sweden’s judicial system, explained Patriota.

“The focus was instead the Ecuadorian embassy in London’s integrity,” said Patriota in a press meet with Carl Bildt, Sweden’s foreign minister.

The British suggested that it could terminate the ambassador’s diplomatic status.

“In terms of the asylum case, it is a sovereign decision of the Ecuadorian government and the countries of South America have urged Ecuador and Britain to agree,” said Patriota, wrote the TT news agency.

The meeting comes just one day after Ecuador’s president said that it was unacceptable for the United States to use economic means to pay Ecuador back the decision to grant Assange asylum.

"It should be unacceptable for us to be subjected to commercial reprisals for having granted asylum to a citizen," Rafael Correa told a meeting of industrialists in Quito, according to AFP.

Ecuador's national sovereignty "is not for sale," said the socialist leader, often at odds with Washington, adding that accepting "pressure" from the United States would be "terrible: a symptom of neocolonialism.”

Correa's statement was delivered amid fears in local economic circles that the US will not renew trade benefits under the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) due to expire on June 30, 2013.

Assange has been holed up in the Knightsbridge embassy since June, where he took refuge to escape extradition to Sweden, where he is sought for questioning about sex assault allegations.

He claims that if extradited to Sweden, he would be handed over to the United States, where he fears prosecution over WikiLeaks' release of a vast cache of confidential US government files.

TT/AFP/The Local/og

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Your comments about this article

16:31 August 29, 2012 by acidcritic
Assange trust the swedish people. However, Assange don´t have to trust the swedish government, otherwise he is lost
18:46 August 29, 2012 by themoron
themoron says: The Brasilian minister is too polite. I wonder what is the meaning of "patriota" for him.

#1 on the dot. Thanks!
01:58 August 30, 2012 by rolfkrohna
Soooo the US has no interest in Assange they say. What a pack of liars.
02:49 August 30, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
Correa is being silly or misleading. Why does he expect favorable treatment from the US when he grabs on to a obviously fallacies about the US.

Of course the US is investigating Wikileaks. Prosecutors are trying to determine if that organization deceptively obtained government information, or provided compensation for such. If Wikileaks obtained the information the way Assange described then they have nothing to worry about.
15:52 August 30, 2012 by themoron
themoron says: First, what did you expect him to declare? Second, he represents a country, not the 35 members of the OAS.

Third, wo Assange has nothing to worry about? Wishful thinking

The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky

Tortured Until Proven Guilty: Bradley Manning and the Case Against Solitary Confinement

"Save for the death penalty, solitary confinement is the most extreme sanction allowed by law. Like slavery and every other form of institutionalized inhumanity, it should be banished to the dark annals of American history as an example of what happens when our humanity slumbers.

"Instead, it is being used as a method of terror and coercion by the United States government upon a citizen who has not even been convicted of a crime.

Bradley Manning, the 22-year-old U.S. Army Private accused of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks, has been detained in solitary confinement for the last seven months, despite not having been convicted of any crime, having been a model detainee, and having evidenced no signs of violence or even disciplinary misdemeanors. Manning has been kept alone in a cell for 23 hours a day, barred from exercising in that cell, deprived of sleep, and denied even a pillow or sheets for his bed.

"The message of the U.S. government to its citizens in this activity is clear: blow the whistle and your brain will be mutilated before you even have a trial.

Other countries will think twice before accepting extradition requests to a place where inhumane treatment of prisoners is sanctioned. Our moral standing in the world suffers, while the American citizenry, already suspicious of post-9/11 governmental abuses of power, grows even more alarmed. What kind of legitimacy adheres to a judicial hearing when the accused has been subject to sanity-threatening conditions? Trust and faith in American justice will deteriorate as long as such damaging practices continue.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lynn-parramore/tortured-until-proven-gui_b_803018.html

More:

"Since 11 September 2001, and especially since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a series of investigative studies and testimonies have revealed that at least some terrorist detainees have been subjected to torture by US interrogators. The US interrogation facility at Guantanamo Bay has attracted widespread criticism over its alleged use of torture. Indeed, Guantanamo Bay has become almost a byword for abuse, coercion, degradation, and torture. The horrific scandal that occurred at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in 2004 further highlighted the lack of constraints over at least some US forces during the interrogation of terrorist suspects".

http://www.historyandpolicy.org/papers/policy-paper-78.html

Is the message clear enough?
17:26 August 30, 2012 by Eric1
Bradley Manning has put the lives of hundreds of millions in danger and some have already lost their lives because of his leaks. He is clearly guilty of treason.
13:03 August 31, 2012 by themoron
the moron says: To # 6

It seems that you are lying. Sorry, but Manning has not put the lives of hundreds of millions in danger and, up to now, not one has lost his live because of his leaks.

The trove of documents he allegedly sent to WikiLeaks told us that the U.S. military was hiding the number of civilians killed in Iraq (after being told officially "we don't do body counts"). They told us the military was condoning Iraqi torture of prisoners, that there was a secret U.S. military assassination team engaging in extrajudicial justice in Afghanistan, that US government pressured other countries not to prosecute US rendition practices, and of course, catalogued all sorts of cozy relationships with creepy dictators and questionable diplomatic allies.

If you consider his action to be an act of treason, you are as guilty as the US for hiding the truth about its massacres all over the world and about its real motives to be involved in military actions; up to now, more than 186 in its history.

I have told you sixty-five million times, that you should never lie.
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