16 AUGUST 2012: Ecuador has granted Political Asylum
Assange is currently under the protection of the Ecuadorean embassy. The Ecuadorean government has found that Mr. Assange was justified in his application and through additional material that he has a well-founded fear of political persecution, and risks torture or the death penalty in the United States in connection with the publication of truthful information of matters of interest to the public through his work with WikiLeaks.
Please Watch: Sex, Lies and Julian Assange, a documentary by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s 4 Corners (July 2012)
WikiLeaks Statement on UK threat to storm Ecuadorian embassy and arrest Julian Assange - Thursday 16th August, 3:00am UTC
Spanish Translation below:
Declaración sobre la amenaza del Reino Unido de asaltar la embajada ecuatoriana para arrestar a Julian Assange - jueves 16 de agosto 2012 - 03:00 UTC
En un comunicado en la mañana de ayer el Reino Unido amenazó con entrar fozosamente en la embajada ecuatoriana en Londres y con arrestar a Julian Assange en su interior.
El Reino Unido dice tener la autoridad de llevar a cabo tal acción bajo la Ley de los Locales Diplomáticos y Consulares de 1987.
Su afirmación no tiene fundamento.
A medianoche, dos horas antes de publicarse esta declaración, la embajada estaba rodeada de policía, en una aparatosa demostración de fuerza.
Cualquier transgresión contra la inviolabilidad de la embajada es un acto unilateral y vergonzoso, además de una violación contra la Convención de Viena que protege las embajadas de todo el mundo.
Esta amenaza está pensada para evitar la inminente decisión sobre si Ecuador concede o no el asilo político a Julian Assange, y para intentar coaccionar a Ecuador para que éste tome una decisión aceptable para el Reino Unido y a sus aliados.
WikiLeaks condena absolutamente este intento de intimidación del Reino Unido.
Una amenaza de esta naturaleza es un acto hostil y extremo, que no es proporcional a las circunstancias, y es un asalto sin precedentes hacia todas aquellas personas que solicitan refugio en todo el mundo.
Llamamos la atención al hecho que la Asamblea General de la ONU ha declarado de forma unánime en la Resolución 2312 (1967):
"la concesión del asilo... es un acto pacífico y humanitario y que, como tal, no puede ser considerado inamistoso por ningún otro Estado"
En conformidad con esta resolución, la decisión de conceder o no el asilo no puede interpretarse por otro estado como un acto inamistoso. Tampoco puede haber consecuencias diplomáticas por el hecho de otorgar un asilo.
Recordamos que estas acciones extraordinarias están siendo tomadas con tal de detener a un hombre a pesar de que no hayan cargos en su contra en ningún país.
WikiLeaks se une al Gobierno de Ecuador e insta al Reino Unido que resuelva esta situación según las normas de conducta pacíficas.
Instamos también al Gobierno del Reino Unido que actúe con compostura, y considere las graves repercusiones de cualquier violación de las normas elementales del derecho international.
Pedimos que el Reino Unido respete el derecho soberano de Ecuador de pronunciar una decisión soberana acerca de la solicitud de asilo político de Julian Assange.
Tomamos nota de que Ecuador ha convocado Reuniones Extraordinariass en la OEA y UNASUR en respuesta a estos acontecimientos, WikiLeaks pide a estas instituciones que apoyen los derechos de Ecuador en esta cuestión, y que rechacen cualquier intento de coacción.
Observamos con interés que estos acontecimientos coinciden con los extraordinarios poderes ejecutivos del Primer Secretario del Estado William Hague, mientras el Primer Ministro y su número dos están de vacaciones.
El Ministerio bajo la dirección de Hague, el Foreign and Commonwealth Office, ha sido el encargado de las negociaciones con Ecuador acerca de la solicitud de asilo político de Julian Assange hasta la fecha.
Si el Señor Hague ha aprobado esta decisión, lo cual es de esperarse, Wikileaks demanda su inmediata dimisión.
Documental australiano sobre la situación de Julian Assange: http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stor...
Friends of WikiLeaks Support Network/Red de apoyo a WikiLeaks: https://wlfriends.org
Justice for Assange/Justicia para Assange: http://justice4assange.com
24 July 2012: Super-Judge Baltasar Garzon to lead WikiLeaks legal strategy:
The Spanish judge, lawyer, and international jurist, Baltasar Garzón, will lead the legal team representing Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. The jurist met with Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in the United Kingdom recently. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the new legal strategy which will defend both WikiLeaks and Julian Assange from the existing abuse of process; expose the arbitrary, extrajudicial actions by the international financial system which target Julian Assange and WikiLeaks specifically; and show how the secret US processes against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks have compromised and contaminated other legal processes, including the extradition process against Mr Assange. Despite been imprisoned, fiscally blockaded, and placed under house arrest for over 650 days, Mr. Assange has not been charged with an offense in any country.
Baltasar Garzón revolutionized the international justice system two decades ago by issuing an international arrest warrant for the former Head of State of Chile, Augusto Pinochet. His actions spearheaded the fight against impunity in Latin America and in the rest of the world. The judge has expressed serious concerns regarding the lack of safeguards and transparency whith which actions are being taken against Julian Assange, and the harassment he is being subjected to which has irreparable effects on his physical and mental wellbeing. The threats against his person are further aggravated by the complicit behaviour of the Swedish and U.K. governments, who are wrongfully abrogating his rights.
El Juez español, abogado y jurista Internacional Baltasar Garzón asumirá la dirección jurídica del equipo de abogados que representa a Julian Assange y Wikileaks. El Jurista, celebró una reunión privada con Julian Assange en la sede de la Embajada Ecuatoriana en Londres, para discutir una nueva y contundente estrategia jurídica que buscará defender tanto a WikiLeaks, como a su fundador, de los abusos de proceso y de arbitrariedades del Sistema Financiero internacional que pondrán de manifiesto el alcance real de la operación contra Julian Assange, en la que el proceso secreto que se le sigue en los Estados Unidos de América supone una clara amenaza que vicia cualquier otro proceso, como el que motiva la petición de extradición para ser cuestionado en Suecia, solicitud que aparece como mero instrumento para conseguir aquella finalidad.
Baltasar Garzón, que hace dos décadas revolucionó la justicia internacional al hacer efectiva una orden de aprehensión contra el ex Jefe de Estado chileno Augusto Pinochet, lo que permitió importantísimos avances en la lucha contra la impunidad en Latinoamérica y el mundo entero, mostró su grave preocupacion por la ausencia de garantías con las que se está actuando contra Julian Assange y el acoso al que está siendo sometido, con consecuencias irreparables para su propia salud física y mental. Riesgo que se ha agravado con la actitud coactiva del gobierno británico que, sin ofrecer garantías creíbles respecto de Suecia y los Estados Unidos, está moviendo todos los resortes para acabar con una situación que políticamente le perjudica.
***Read Australia’s effective Declaration of Abandonment (19 July 2012)***
On 14 June 2012, the Feb-June 2012 Supreme Court rejected Julian Assange’s 12 June application to reopen the appeal. He was given 14 days to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. On 20 June, Assange walked into the Ecuadorean embassy and claimed political asylum. On 28 June, the UK police served Assange a letter at the Ecuadorean embassy, requesting he surrender himself to Belmarsh police station on 29 June 2012. His legal advice is that he is exercising his right to seek asylum, and that this exercise takes precedence while the request is being processed to any extradition procedures.
We will warmly welcome Secretary Clinton to Stockholm next Sunday. First bilateral visit to Sweden by a US SecState for a very long time.
— Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) May 26, 2012
The Swedish Foreign Minister announced Secretary Hillary Clinton’s visit via twitter. This is the first visit of a US Secretary of State to Sweden since 1976. The state visit occurred four days after the delivery of hte Assange judgment.
Stratfor e-mails have revealed that a sealed indictment has been issued by a secret grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, for Julian Assange. The email is dated 26 January 2011. This means that there has likely been a sealed extradition order for over a year, which will be activated (unsealed) against Assange in Sweden, Australia and the UK when the US Government gives the order.
The US Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR) has issued a statement.
UK Crown Prosecution Services deny a Freedom of Information Act request in relation to communications with other "States" regarding potention extradition arrangements for Julian Assange, on the grounds that it may endanger the UK’s diplomatic relations with other countries.
Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt attacks Assange in fresh new statements about the Assange case (25 January 2012): "This is typical of someone accused [’anklagad’] of a crime in a different country - to try to cast suspicion on that country or its legal system. One can see similarities with other cases where this technique has been used. Of course we have to stand our ground - we have a system of rule of law that works. And we take rape accusations very seriously - there are special interests trying to disparage how we have developed and how we stand by the good legislation [that is relevant] in this [Assange] case."
Swedish speakers can listen to the Prime Minister’s answers in the radio call-in programme:
Swedish Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, criticises Assange on Swedish national radio on 25 January 2012 - only one week before Assange’s team will argue that the European Arrest Warrant has not been subjected to scrutiny by an independent and impartial ’judicial authority’, before the Supreme Court in the UK. Despite this clearly impinging on Julian Assange’s due process rights the prosecutor (Marianne Ny), the Prime Minister (Fredrik Reinfeldt) and the politician-lawyer who represents the women (Claes Borgstrom) have attacked Julian Assange in the media over the past 15 months. Basic inalienable rights to due process, enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights and the EU Charter, are not being respected when the chief of the Swedish executive and other members of the executive publicly comment on the Assange matter. A full transcript/and translation of Reinfeldt’s reply, which also touches on Sweden’s complicity in extraordinary rendition, is available in Political Interference. See also Professor Ferrada-Noli’s article.
The Assange Case - a Colossal Miscarriage of Justice, Björn Karlin published in Journalisten.se English and Swedish
19 December 2011: Open Letter to Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, signed by high level supporters including former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and Lieutenant Colonel (ret) Lance Collins, Australian Intelligence Corps, see Australia
16 December 2011: [Julian Assange’s case will be heard by the UK Supreme Court, and is scheduled in for 1st of February 2011 for a two-day hearing->http://www.supremecourt.gov.uk/news...]. The decision by the Supreme Court panel of judges comes on the same day as Bradley Manning’s pre-trial Art. 32 hearing commences in Fort Meade, near Washington D.C. Read more on Australia.
10 December 2011: The Supreme Court’s consideration of the appeal was rushed forward. Initially it was thought that the panel of judges would be convened six weeks from 5 December 2011. But extraordinarily so close to Christmas, three Supreme Court justices agreed to judge the appeal application and a decision was taken on 16 December 2011. One source has observed "The timing of the Supreme Court decision - announced as sometime between 19 and 25 December - a bit suspect as this could mean that extradition takes place while the UK Parliament is in Christmas recess. In that eventuality it might miss the scrutiny by the Home Secretary on Human Rights Act 1998 grounds that it should have."
- 7 December: First Interview With Julian Assange on Swedish television to speak of the Swedish allegations and the case. Interview with Malou von Sivers on Swedish Television channel TV4 is aired. Julian Assange did the interview on 4 December, the day before the High Court appeal judgement.
- 7 December 2011: Julian Assange has now been detained for 1 year without charge. The Supreme Court will deliver their decision on whether admit the appeal on 19 December 2011.
- 5 December 2011 The UK High Court of Appeal has ruled that one of the two points raised by Julia Assange’s team is of "general public importance" and should be considered by the Supreme Court. The point that succeeded was the question of whether a partisan public prosecutor is a ’judicial authority’ as required by the 2003 Extradition Act. The issue revolves around the notion there must be a separation between the executive and the judiciary when depriving a person of their liberty - in this case when the person concerned has not even been charged and the device used to deprive their liberty is extradition to another state. The court considered this to be a point of general public importance that may affect any person facing similar extraditions to the EU. The point transcended the facts of the case and the Supreme Court will decide whether it will allow the appeal, in principle in 14 days’ time. Mark Summers, representing Mr. Assange, said that since 2005, 60 different cases have challenged the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) at this court on the grounds that it had been issued by a prosecutor, and not by an independent and impartial member of the judiciary. Both the issue of whether a person who has not been charged can be extradited and the point of who is a "judicial authority" authorised to issue an EAW were debated in the UK Parliament. Julian Assange attended the extradition debate after his presence at the High Court, but had to leave before it was over in order to make the curfew. At least three MPs mentioned Julian Assange’s case and the fact that he had not been charged, as well as the judicial authority point.
- 5 December 2011 Parliament has listed a historic extradition debate in Westminster all day on 5 December 2011, the same day that the High Court announces its decision on whether the court certifies the two points of general public interest for a Feb-June 2012 Supreme Court.
- 3 December 2011 - Australia: Freedom of Information Act disclosures reveal that US’ WikiLeaks investigation is ’’unprecedented both in its scale and nature’’.
- Parliament holds a debate on extradition in Westminster on Thursday 24 November. Members of the public are writing to their local MPs to urge them to raise the 1st point of law regarding ’judicial authority’ in the Assange appeal. This point is particularly relevant for parliamentary discussion because the judgement goes against parliamentary intention behind the 2003 Extradition Act.
- Despite huge public demand for a full debate, the Parliamentary Backbench Business Committee has relegated the debate to Westminster Hall rather than the main chamber of the House of Common where it would be voted on by Members of Parliament. As the Babar Ahmed campaign explains, "Discussions in Westminster Hall are not subjected to a vote and rarely have any practical effect."
- A petition requesting a full parliamentary debate and vote can be found here.
22 November 2011: Jennifer Robinson holds a lecture on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange in Australia:
17 November 2011: Julian Assange has appointed two new lawyers, Per E. Samuelson and Thomas Olsson, to represent him in Sweden. Both have extensive experience in highly politicised cases in Sweden. Samuelson is an outspoken critic of the failings of due process in Sweden. He was defence counsel in the Pirate Bay case. Thomas Olsson has been engaged in a long-term court battle to expose and quash eight murder convictions of Sture Bergvall, aka Thomas Quick. The Thomas Quick case has become known as Sweden’s most infamous case of miscarriage of justice. Quick is a mental patient who was given opiates in order to reveal suppressed memories and who grew addicted to confessing crimes he had not committed. He has since retracted his confessions and been cleared of half of the murders (the remaining sentences are currently being appealed). Quick’s defence counsel during the murder trials was Claes Borgström, who is now disgraced because of this case and as a result has reported himself to the Swedish Bar Association. Claes Borgström is a high profile politician and laywer representing the two complainants, AA and SW, against Julian Assange.
15 November 2011: Julian Assange’s team have raised the following points of law as grounds to appeal to the Supreme Court:
1) Whether a European Arrest Warrant issued by a partisan prosecutor working for the executive (i.e. not an independent judge or investigating magistrate in the civil law system) is a valid Part 1 Warrant issued by a "judicial authority" within the meaning of sections 2(2) & 66 of the Extradition Act 2003?
- This point argues that the decision goes against parliamentary intent in the 2003 Extradition Act (see July 2011 High Court Appeal).
2) Whether a person in respect of whom no decision to prosecute has been taken can be said to be ’accused’ within the meaning of sections 2(3)(a) of the Extradition Act 2003?
Read why these two points are of ’general public importance’ in July 2011 High Court Appeal (currently being updated).
15 November 2011: Julian Assange’s legal team have applied to the High Court for leave to appeal two points of law of general importance at the Supreme Court. The same High Court judges who dismissed Julian Assange’s case at the High Court will decide whether or not to certify these points, which must be of public importance and go beyond the specific facts of this case. They will decide this in open court, at the Royal Courts of Justice on 5 December 2011. A decision is expected the same day. If JA loses, he will be extradited to Sweden within 10 days and placed into Swedish custody.
Read the High Court judgement (below), and the the submission for the appellant in July (further down).
- 18 October 2011: Home Office publishes independent review of UK extradition agreements. The EAW section is relevant to the Assange Appeal
- 6 October 2011: two new articles regarding the imminent judgment on extradition to Sweden/US: John Pilger "The Smearing of a revolution" in the New Statesman; and Jennifer Robinson and Lizzie O’Shea "Sleepwalking into Dangerous Territory" in the Alternative Law Journal.
- The UK High Court resumed work on 3 October 2011. The judgement for Julian Assange’s extradition appeal is expected to be announced shortly. Follow @swedenvsassange on Twitter to get the latest news.
- Read Guy Rundle’s recent article with a good overview of the Swedish case against Julian Assange and the implications for Wikileaks.
- See July 2011 High Court Appeal for a new summary of the proceedings and other updates.
- Read the Swedish police report in Swedish and here in English.
- Read A Most Wanted List of Missing Items in the Julian Assange Case, by Dave Phillips, on the missing hard evidence in the Assange case
Since August 2010, all discussions regarding the ’Swedish case’ have gravitated around the allegations against Julian Assange and whether the arrest orders have been procedurally correct, not whether the allegations are true.
Julian Assange is prevented from responding to the allegations and from giving his version of events as long as the Swedish prosecutor refuses to hear his testimony (this is standard procedure). During the 18 months of extradition proceedings in the UK, Julian Assange’s legal team was prevented from challenging the allegations on the facts of the case or through Julian Assange’s own version of events. Instead, his UK legal team was limited to challenging the validity of the European Arrest Warrant instrument on narrow, mainly procedural grounds. On 14 June 2012, the extradition was approved by the UK Supreme Court. Five days later, Assange applied for political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Ecuador offered to accommodate the Swedish authorities if they agreed to question Assange in London. Questioning supects abroad is a mechanism that Sweden routinely uses, but has refused to follow in Assange’s case.
Sweden issued an extradition request for Julian Assange in connection with a preliminary investigation. Julian Assange has not been charged of any crime. His status is that of a suspect who has not yet been heard in relation to the ’minor rape’ allegation.
Julian Assange was first put in prison and under solitary confinement for 10 days, and under house arrest for 540 days. He had an electronic tag around his ankle and reported to police 540 days in a row, before entering the Ecuadorian embassy.
Feb 2011 Hearing: The UK District Court ordered the extradition to go ahead.
July 2011 High Court Appeal: On 12 and 13 July 2011, Julian Assange’s new legal team headed by the solicitor Gareth Peirce (Birnberg Peirce & Partners), and the barrister Ben Emmerson from Matrix Chambers.
Prior to the Arrest:
Julian Assange had been staying at the Frontline Club for journalists in Paddington, London, during much of October and November 2010. He held several talks during this period, including an address at the United Nations in Geneva. He flew back to London on 10 November 2010.
In the immediate weeks prior to and days after the issuing of the EAW, Assange received numerous public threats to his life from serving politicians and right-wing pundits (see Timing: EAW & INTERPOL Red Notice ). The threats that were made included summary execution ("drone strike" "bullet in his brain"), kidnapping, designating him an "enemy combatant" (which would allow US to render him or send him to Guantanmo Bay).
Julian Assange voluntarily went into UK custody on 7 December 2010, the same day The European Arrest Warrant was authorised. Assange spent 10 days in solitary confinement in Wandsworth prison. He was kept in solitary confinement in the maximum security ’separation unit’. He was released on £240,000 ($374,000) bail, provided by sureties.