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ASSANGE EXTRADITION FIGHT
'We will withstand any situation': Ecuador

'We will withstand any situation': Ecuador

Published: 27 Sep 2012 06:41 GMT+02:00
Updated: 27 Sep 2012 06:41 GMT+02:00

Ecuador said Wednesday it is prepared to shelter Julian Assange inside its London embassy for years if necessary as it negotiates the WikiLeaks founder's fate with Britain and Sweden.

Assange meanwhile called on the United States to halt its "persecution" of WikiLeaks and its supporters in a video link message at the UN headquarters organized by Ecuador.

Assange will spend his 100th day in the embassy on Thursday as British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino hold talks on the activist, who is wanted in Sweden for questioning on charges of sexual assault but fears eventual extradition to the United States.

Patino told diplomats, officials and journalists at the UN meeting that his

government was ready to protect Assange for 10 years if necessary.

"Absolutely we are prepared. Mr Assange we suppose is too, because he made the decision to request asylum and he knew the implications," Patino said.

"We are willing to withstand any situations that arise," Patino added. "We are not going to go back on our decision."

Patino said he would reiterate the demand that Assange be given safe passage when he meets Hague on Thursday in New York.

"I speak to you today as a free man," Assange said in his address from the embassy in London, which is surrounded by British police.

The 41-year-old Australian criticized the "fine words" of the US president for saying that the United States had supported the Arab Spring uprisings.

"Tunisian history did not begin in 2010 and Mohammed Bouazizi did not set himself on fire so that Barack Obama could be reelected," Assange said.

He added that WikiLeaks had published documents which showed that former Tunisian dictator Zine el Abidine Ben Ali "had for long years enjoyed the indifference, the support of the United States, in full knowledge of his excesses and his crimes."

"It is disrespectful to the dead and to the incarcerated of the various uprisings to claim that the United States supported the forces of change," he added.

"It is time for the United States to cease its persecution of WikiLeaks, to cease its persecution of our people and cease its persecution of our alleged sources," Assange said.

Julian Assange sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London on June 19th after exhausting appeals against extradition from Britain to Sweden.

Assange says the case is political and orchestrated by the United States, which was infuriated by WikiLeaks's release of thousands of US frontline war reports from Iraq and Afghanistan as well as confidential diplomatic cables.

He fears that if extradited, Sweden will hand him over to the United States, where he could face prosecution.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:34 September 27, 2012 by johan rebel
10.15 years sounds about right to me. That embassy must be a lot worse than a Swedish jail, where most non-violent inmates are parttimers at best, and many of the violent ones spend plenty of time outside the prison walls.
11:19 September 27, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
What a hypocrite. Assange and Wikileaks has always tried to take credit for the Arab Spring. It is amazing that for once Assange recognizes who was truly the impetus for that revolution. However, were Assange fails to recognize it was through NATO intervention which sped up the fall of Libya.
16:27 September 27, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
Assange got a chance to challenge the legality of extradition in court both in Sweden and the UK losing all times, including on the point that the request was only for questioning.

It is the member state that decides to have the red-notice public, and there is nothing unusual about it.
03:46 September 28, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
@Arbed, your fallacies must be addressed directly.

The courts have to determine various things before allowing an extradition order. The most important is the dual criminality. That is whether the accusations are crimes in the originating country. Every extradition request is judge on its merits, including if information prodived indicates that the person's rights will be violated.

On evidence in the Extradition Act 2003.

*Evidence*

202 Receivable documents

(1) A Part 1 warrant may be received in evidence in proceedings under this Act.

(2) Any other document issued in a category 1 territory may be received in evidence in proceedings under this Act if it is duly authenticated.

Even without checking the laws it is an easy thing to conceptualize that evidence can be presented during an extradition hearing.

The extridation of Shawn Sullivan says that you are wrong as he won his appeal. Then there is Ian Bailey who also won his appeal at the Supreme Court.

This Julian Assange centric view seems to create a form of reality distortion.
15:13 September 29, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
Assange's lawyers have every right to challenge any evidence that is submitted. They have also the right to submitted any evidence for the defense, include any found in a report.

If Assange believes he has been unfairly treated, then he can go through the courts or use an ombudsman has he has in the past.

So even if Assange is found guilty of (or admits) raping a woman he should be let free because she submitted a suspected unused item as a used one during the police investigation.

Two lucky ones? Both cases are only high profile. One an accused pedophile and the other a suspected murder, both because of concerns about their rights in the recieving state. Not, this umpteen degree of Assange.

Hundreds? Well it seems that someone has to provide evidence other than something that is just casuistry.

The state of denial will not magically give Assange special rights. Nor, will ignoring rights engraved in Sweden, the UK or the EU.
17:20 September 30, 2012 by MarkDnrs
THERE ARE GOOD REASONS why being extradited to Sweden (and thus why this is 100% about Wikileaks not ludicrious fake charges about a"broken condom") is condemning the person being extradited to that renegade country to torture and human rights violations:

1. You get imprisoned in Sweden even before being charged, so if the US brought charges at that time he has no recourse to diplomatic protection;

2. Sweden has a history of agreeing to all extradition requests to the US, including extraordinary rendition in 2001, in 2006 it was reported by Swedish Military Intelligence that subsequent restrictions were being ignored;

3. Sweden has a clause in their extradition treaty for "Conditional Release" which the UK does not, which would not be subject to the same restrictions as extradition and the UK would not need to approve the onward extradition;

4. If, as Australia believes, the US would bring charges carefully worded to avoid conflict with the First Amendment, the UK and Sweden could declare that the charges are not political offenses and therefore not prevent him from being extradited.

5. If Sweden wanted to question Assange, they could have done so in the UK. Issuing an EAW was disproportionate, especially when no charges have been brought. Expert legal opinion supports this: http://www.scribd.com/doc/4839...

6. 3. The International Prison Chaplains Association says that Swedish prisons are the worst prisons in Europe. In 47 percent of cases, prisoners in Sweden are held incommunicado.

7. To repeat the point about Sweden's nature as a human rights violator:

There is always that Swedish legal device known as a Temporary Surrender or Conditional Release, under which Assange can be sent on from Sweden to the United States secretly and quickly.

Sweden has in the recent past allowed rendition (torture) on its soil at the request of the US. In fact, in the last 10 years Sweden has done whatever the US wants so that it can share security information. Much like Britain. The Swedish foreign minister responsible for extradition, Carl Bildt, became a U.S. Embassy informant in 1973 when he was 24 years old. He shipped his personal effects to Washington, to lead a conservative leadership program, where he met Karl Rove. They became old friends and would go to conferences together and so on.
00:40 October 1, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
You have to wonder why some one would repeat the exact same information on two different articles for one online newspaper.

"Conditional Release" ignores the part of the EAW that states that the sending state must approve the extradition to a third state.

The courts were convinced that Assange is required for prosecution, and acknowledged that the Swedish system is different from the UK in procedures.

This desperation to discredit Sweden just because of Julian Assange is rather uninteresting.
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