HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Why the Ecuadorians are s...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Tue Aug 14, 2012, 06:00 PM

Why the Ecuadorians are stalling on Assange's asylum request [View all]

Last edited Wed Aug 15, 2012, 12:52 PM - Edit history (2)

The Ecuadorians' (not always pleasant) experience of US foreign policy naturally leaves them sympathetic to anyone who pokes the US in the eyes, and Assange made a great show of doing exactly that. Accordingly, they might enjoy granting Assange's asylum request, if it smecked the US in the schnozz again. But, all the paranoid histrionics of Assange & Co aside, the actual result of an asylum grant would be much gnarlier than that for Ecuador

According to general Latin American standards, an asylum seeker can flee to a country's embassy; and if that country agrees to offer asylum, then high-level negotiations for the asylee's safe passage to that country will follow. But it is understood this is intended as a mechanism to protect political refugees, not common criminals. However, these general Latin American standards are codified only in regional treaties and are not widely accepted. The idea, that someone in instant danger can appropriately seek temporary refuge in an embassy, is probably widely accepted, but again this view is not intended to shelter common criminals

A first problem for Ecuador, therefore, is simply that Assange is wanted in conjunction with criminal complaints in Sweden and is further subject to arrest in the UK for jumping bail. No evidence has ever been presented that the criminal process in Sweden is politically motivated

A second problem for Ecuador is that there no grounds for thinking Assange is in such instant danger in the UK, or would be in such instant danger in Sweden if extradited there, that Ecuador's prompt intercession is required for humanitarian reasons. Assange moved about freely in Sweden during his stay there. After his arrest in the UK (nearly two years ago now), he was granted bail and was largely free there as well, subject to such minor conditions as wearing a tracking bracelet, contacting the police daily, and spending evening hours at a certain fixed address (which happened to be a very comfortable mansion). Circumstances do not suggest any official efforts in either Sweden or the UK to kill him or to cause him grave bodily or emotional harm. Nor do circumstances otherwise suggest that he is a victim of, or is likely to become a victim of, nefarious official efforts, in Sweden or the UK, to interfere with his natural human rights in any substantial way, except in the normal course of Swedish process for a sexual crimes complaint

A third problem for Ecuador is that the UK does not recognize "diplomatic asylum" and would be extraordinarily unlikely to follow the Latin American model of negotiating safe-passage from the UK to Ecuador, in the event that Ecuador offered Assange "diplomatic asylum" -- first, because the UK will find no reason to disrespect Sweden in such manner; second, because authorities in the UK will not disregard the orders of the UK courts so lightly

A fourth problem for Ecuador is that Sweden, having gone to the trouble of swearing out a warrant for Assange, in order to bring him under the Swedish criminal justice process, and having pursued that warrant, at some length, against Assange’s contest in the UK courts, is unlikely to view favorably any Ecuadorian interference in the process. The conspiracy theories -- advanced by Assange, his lawyers and his supporters, according to which the Swedes have (contrary to Swedish constitution and statute) allowed a foreign power to subvert their criminal justice process, in order to facilitate a subsequent extradition to the US, so that Assange can be tortured or executed -- are just insulting to Sweden as a modern and progressive country, proud of its tolerance and humanitarianism. Granting Assange asylum involves a slander of Sweden, which cannot lubricate Swedish-Ecuadorian relations

A fifth and similar problem for Ecuador is that the UK, having thoroughly digested this topic in its courts, is unlikely to view favorably any Ecuadorian grant of asylum to a common criminal suspect. The upheld warrant for Assange involves an allegation of rape. The UK will find no advantage in allowing Ecuador to set a precedent, of sheltering in its embassy, persons accused of rape. Such a precedent would signal that any person, accused of any common crime, may dependably seek refuge with any diplomat with credentials at the Court of St James, undermining all intents of established international diplomatic understandings. Whether or not it intends to use available remedies, the UK does have options for enforcing a demand to hand over Assange, including expelling the Ecuadorian ambassador or breaking diplomatic relations with Ecuador

There is a related but somewhat more general problem for Ecuador. The Europeans have a carefully-negotiated extradition regime, according to which Assange could not be re-extradicted to the US from Sweden without the permission of the UK. A re-extradition request would be litigable in both Sweden and the UK. The conspiracy theories -- involving subsequent extradition to the US -- are insulting to the entire European community that negotiated the extradition regime, suggesting that Ecuador regards the European treaties as meaningless. As there is no particular upside to the European community, in having their treaties so regarded, an Ecuadorian grant of asylum to Assange will not lubricate European-Ecuadorian relations

55 replies, 4277 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 55 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why the Ecuadorians are stalling on Assange's asylum request [View all]
struggle4progress Aug 2012 OP
Manifestor_of_Light Aug 2012 #1
hack89 Aug 2012 #5
msanthrope Aug 2012 #13
sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #15
hack89 Aug 2012 #22
sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #26
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #31
hack89 Aug 2012 #32
sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #35
hack89 Aug 2012 #37
sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #39
hack89 Aug 2012 #40
sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #41
hack89 Aug 2012 #42
sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #43
hack89 Aug 2012 #44
sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #45
hack89 Aug 2012 #46
sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #47
hack89 Aug 2012 #48
girl gone mad Aug 2012 #36
lapislzi Aug 2012 #52
hack89 Aug 2012 #53
lapislzi Aug 2012 #54
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #6
sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #16
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #18
sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #19
Tierra_y_Libertad Aug 2012 #14
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #21
Tierra_y_Libertad Aug 2012 #29
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #2
Gregorian Aug 2012 #3
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #7
Gregorian Aug 2012 #11
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #12
sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #17
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #20
Gregorian Aug 2012 #23
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #24
sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #25
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #27
sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #28
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #30
sabrina 1 Aug 2012 #38
Tarheel_Dem Aug 2012 #10
HERVEPA Aug 2012 #4
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #8
HERVEPA Aug 2012 #33
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #34
HERVEPA Aug 2012 #49
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #51
HERVEPA Aug 2012 #55
SidDithers Aug 2012 #9
morningfog Aug 2012 #50