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UK Government to force entry to Ecuadorean Embassy?

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  • UK Government to force entry to Ecuadorean Embassy?

    Rafael Correa has just announced that Julian Assange has been granted political asylum by Ecuador. Meanwhile the UK government are threatening to force entry to Ecuador's Embassy in London to arrest Assange in order to turn him over to Sweden.

    It's worth remembering that Assange has never been charged with any crime anywhere, and even the allegations made against him in Sweden would not constitute a crime in the UK.

    There's a lot in this one. Does the UK government really have the right it claims in law to withdraw diplomatic status from the embassy?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...cuador-embassy

    And, as I heard Tariq Ali saying earlier today, if this was happening in China, with someone being sheltered in the UK Embassy and granted asylum by the UK, what kind of outcry would there be if the Chinese government made the same kind of threats the UK is making?
    Last edited by Robin; 08-16-2012, 06:08 AM. Reason: can't spell...

  • #2
    Yet more of the Conservative government acting like the silly trumped-up schoolboys they are. A very misguided "threat" with no chance they would (or could) enact it, but which forced Ecuador's hand into granting him asylum.

    They might well refuse to accept Assange as a diplomatic bag and arrest him should he try and leave. That's more viable, though I guess the Met will be saying "We don't care: let him sod off" while the US will are saying "Be our friend - bitch".

    Comment


    • #3
      I look forward to the UK setting an example for the world by henceforth pursuing every rape allegation with such ferociously dogged determination.

      Comment


      • #4
        Has Stephen Fry twittered about this yet?

        I wouldn't mistake talk with intent myself. My guess is the FO is sabre-rattling for the sake of the USA, so they can say, 'look we tried everything, it's not our fault he's still free', while knowing full well that the legislation referred to is arguably inapplicable in this situation. I imagine they consider the short-term 'bad publicity' is worth the long-term need to stay in the USA's good books. What the UK Govt has done is a long-standing practice (by all govts of whatever political persuasion) of running something which they have no actual intention of implementing up the proverbial flag-pole to see who shoots at it, then later introducing something else (usually less extreme) that they wanted all along. It's kind of used as a litmus test to see what the general public will stand for.

        That said, I can see the UK Govt sticking to its guns about not granting Assange safe passage out of the embassy.

        This one will run and run as they say.
        _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
        _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
        _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
        _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

        Comment


        • #5
          But shocking policy as regards UK interests in Latin America - where we need all the help we can get thanks to an Argentinian administration that has so screwed up its home-policies that it is desperate to distract its own population and the region using the ever-convenient Maldives distraction.

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          • #6
            I don't know what they laws are but I have a feeling that someone is not bluffing.

            How many are pursued internationally? I bet it's a lot more than we know about. Yet, how many accused rapists get asylum from Ecuador? If he wasn't Assange and the Ecuadorians couldn't use him for their own political purpose, he'd be laughed out the door. And we wouldn't exactly be reading about it in the news, nor would there be the threat of an international incident.

            Assange's ego must be blossoming even further, if that's possible.

            Unlike most of my friends I do actually want to give the girls their day in court, and I think this is what Assange is running from. The US government doesn't need to somehow create a conspiracy with Swedish cops when it could extradite Assange on espionage today even if the US doesn't have a real case, and they could draw it out for as long as they wanted. As it is Assange wants to leave Manning swinging for something that might have been done at Assange's instigation. Anyway, we most likely wouldn't see that until after the election in November.

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            • #7
              If I was the Ecuadorian government I'd be as pissed off with Assange as everyone else.

              His request for political asylum has put them between a rock and a hard place. It would play very badly amongst other South American governments if they give him up to the British but, unless they physically smuggle him out of the embassy in the diplomatic bag, they're stuck with him in the building.

              As soon as he sets foot outside the embassy he will be nicked. The embassy itself is a flat inside a mansion block so the police are occupying the common parts of the building and have all the exits blocked.

              So I think we're in for a long and expensive siege that will be embarrassing for both the Ecuadorian and British governments.
              Last edited by Pietro_Mercurios; 08-16-2012, 11:51 PM. Reason: The Spelling Fairy

              Comment


              • #8
                While it's fashionable to see Britain/Sweden as the bully boys in this affair (or, more properly, the bully boy's poodles), let's remind ourselves of who Assange has gotten into bed with:

                Human Rights in Ecuador
                • Corruption, inefficiency, and political influence have plagued the Ecuadorian judiciary for many years. In a referendum held in 2011, President Rafael Correa obtained a popular mandate for constitutional reforms that could significantly increase government powers to constrain media and influence the appointment and dismissal of judges.
                • Ecuador’s laws restrict freedom of expression, and government officials, including Correa, use these laws against his critics. Those involved in protests marred by violence may be prosecuted on inflated and inappropriate ‘terrorism’ charges.
                • Impunity for police abuses is widespread and perpetrators of murders often attributed to a “settling of accounts” between criminal gangs are rarely prosecuted and convicted.
                  2012 World Report Chapter
                http://www.hrw.org/americas/ecuador
                _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                Comment


                • #9
                  While I loathe the left wing governments in SA, I cannot forget the case of Jean Charles, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_o...les_de_Menezes, murdered by the English Police, because "they thought he was a terrorist".
                  "From time to time I demonstrate the inconceivable, or mock the innocent, or give truth to liars, or shred the poses of virtue.(...) Now I am silent; this is my mood." From Sundrun's Garden, Jack Vance.
                  "As the Greeks have created the Olympus based upon their own image and resemblance, we have created Gotham City and Metropolis and all these galaxies so similar to the corporate world, manipulative, ruthless and well paid, that conceived them." Braulio Tavares.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Good point David.

                    Assange might have the approval of a relatively small group of internet warriors who think that exposing global politics and secret operations is morally right, but he and his cohorts have to be prepared to be accountable for their own actions.

                    The charges in Sweden may or may not be trumped up, we don’t know, but Swedish law must be allowed to be seen to be done.

                    And what does Assange expect the consequences of his alleged actions to be? A pat on the back? A slap on the wrist? Publishing stolen military and espionage secrets breaks a multitude of laws, puts the lives of serving operatives (both overt and covert) at risk and puts international security service activities back years. The global big boys are hardly likely to take that lying down.

                    And now he’s grovelling to a morally dodgy regime that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the US to save his own skin.

                    Who has the moral high ground now?

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                    • #11
                      Even making the threat of storming an embassy creates a ghastly precedent.

                      The Ralph Retort

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by zlogdan View Post
                        While I loathe the left wing governments in SA, I cannot forget the case of Jean Charles, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_o...les_de_Menezes, murdered by the English Police, because "they thought he was a terrorist".
                        You won't find a fiercer critic of the de Menezes murder than me (well, okay, you probably will but you can review my posts on the subject here to see that I was - and still am - fiercely critical of the way the operation was handled by the Met) but, in fairness, to the officer(s) who shot him they probably did think - based on the (wrong) information they'd been provided - he was a terrorist.

                        We don't tend to have Death Squads roaming the barrios in London, after all.
                        Last edited by David Mosley; 08-17-2012, 03:56 AM.
                        _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                        _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                        _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                        _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well, when the two women went to the police it was not to accuse Assange of rape but simply to inquire if he could be required to submit to an HIV test. And, in answer to questions the following day, Chief Prosecutor Eva Finné said "I don't think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape."

                          To quote John Pilger :

                          "The case would not have got this far had it not been for the intervention of Claes Borgstrom, a politician who saw an opportunity when the Stockholm prosecutor threw out almost all the police allegations. Borgstrom was then in the middle of an election campaign. When asked why the case was proceeding when both women had said that the sex had been consensual with Assange, he replied, “Ah, but they’re not lawyers.”"

                          Rape? Only if the word has a completely new meaning.

                          But there has undoubtedly been a very successful smear campaign against Assange. Although a curiously belated one considering how he was originally lauded by the media who were all more than happy to run the stories they got from Wikileaks.

                          Then, when the Obama regime decided they wanted to make an example of whistleblowers to discourage any future outbreaks, the media suddenly did a complete about-face and started branding him almost as a terrorist.

                          I made a point in my original post of not mentioning the elephant in the room - but the US involvement has been mentioned more than enough times in the thread to draw attention to the feeling that this case really has very little, if anything, to do with "sexual misconduct" (one of the many translations of "sexuellt ofredande" that I've seen) It's not even a case of "trumped up charges", there are not, and there have never been, any charges at all. Not in Sweden anyway. But it has a lot to do with a president who despite making promises to the contrary when he was trying to get elected, has been doing his best to cover up every misdeed under the guise of "national security". From the Los Angeles Times :

                          "One of the most disappointing attributes of the Obama administration has been its proclivity for secrecy. The president who committed himself to "an unprecedented level of openness in government" has followed the example of his predecessor by invoking the "state secrets" privilege to derail litigation about government misdeeds in the war on terror. He has refused to release the administration's secret interpretation of the Patriot Act, which two senators have described as alarming. He has blocked the dissemination of photographs documenting the abuse of prisoners by U.S. service members. And now his Justice Department has proposed to allow government agencies to lie about the existence of documents being sought under the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA."

                          I watched most of Assange's "World Tomorrow" series recently and he does not come across as a very likeable person - an easy target, definitely not the most sympathetic character. But that's irrelevant - what this really amounts to is a warning to all journalists that reporting crimes committed by the US government will not be tolerated.

                          Just in case the video (published by Wikileaks) that showed the 2007 attack in Baghdad by an Apache gunship that killed two Reuters journalists and a number of civilians did not highlight a pretty clear warning already.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            In the US we call it 'date rape'. Still a crime, apparently more of one there than here. Still shouldn't assume the girls are lying just becuase Assange enjoys culture hero status and annoys the USA gov.

                            The media always turns on people, it's what they do. IMO it's not really indicative of conspiracy if our particular culture hero gets torn down after being built up. It happens to all of them.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by David Mosley View Post
                              We don't tend to have Death Squads roaming the barrios in London, after all.
                              And you don't think I am proud of that, do you ? The actual scenario of death squads is far worse by the way. And we are also in danger because of the criminals, that don't bother killing regular citizens as well. To be utterly honest I tell my English/Foreign friends to be very cautious when they come to Brazil.

                              It is just too bizarre to see the English police making that mistake and trying to make excuses when it was not possible. My father lived in London back in 1985, he was never harassed or threatened .
                              Now, forcing an entry against an Embassy ( and please note I despise the current status of human rights in Ecquador or their type of government ) goes against any UNO regulations or treatments. It is very sad that this happens, specially in one of my favorite countries in this world.
                              "From time to time I demonstrate the inconceivable, or mock the innocent, or give truth to liars, or shred the poses of virtue.(...) Now I am silent; this is my mood." From Sundrun's Garden, Jack Vance.
                              "As the Greeks have created the Olympus based upon their own image and resemblance, we have created Gotham City and Metropolis and all these galaxies so similar to the corporate world, manipulative, ruthless and well paid, that conceived them." Braulio Tavares.

                              Comment

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