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Sun Aug 19, 2012, 12:17 PM

Meanwhile, Ecuador prepares to extradite a blogger it offered asylum in 2008. [View all]



Alexander Barankov sits, today, in a Quito jail awaiting extradition to Belarus. He is charged with "fraud" for blogging about corruption in the former Soviet country and angering its dictator, Alexander Lukashenko.

The leftist Die Tageszeitung writes:

"The case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has become an unbelievable example of international hypocrisy. Both of the countries involved, Great Britain and Ecuador, are blameworthy."

"Far from the world's attention, the (Ecuadorian) government is evicting an ex-government worker from Belarus who has enjoyed three years of asylum status in Ecuador. The reason is that six weeks ago, Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko was in Quito to sign a number of trade agreements and applied pressure. A short time later the man, Alexander Barankov, was arrested in Quito. Against this background, the flowery words of Ecuador's foreign minister about the huge importance of political asylum don't hold much value."

Read more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/german-newspapers-comment-on-assange-case-a-850625.html



Like WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Alexander Barankov has worked to expose government misconduct via the Internet. Both men have received refuge on Ecuadorian territory. But while the South American country made world headlines granting Assange diplomatic asylum on Thursday morning, Barankov faces imminent extradition from Ecuador to its new ally Belarus, described by most observers as “Europe’s last dictatorship.”

...The plight of Barankov poses a real test of Ecuador’s commitment to human rights. A former Belarusian army captain, Barankov arrived in Quito in 2008 thanks to the Ecuadorian government’s very liberal immigration laws. He then set up a blog denouncing corruption and other crimes allegedly committed under authoritarian ruler Alexander Lukashenko. Ecuador initially granted him refugee status, but after a state visit by Lukashenko to Quito on June 29, he was arrested and is being held in the capital’s infamous, 19th century prison while the top court hears the case on Belarus’ fresh extradition request. If sent there, according to his partner, Maribel Andrade, he will face charges of treason and could be put to death.

Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/08/16/assanges-special-asylum-why-ecuador-isnt-nice-to-anyone-else/#ixzz240e3Bsi3

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