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Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:42 PM

Glenn Greenwald in Guardian UK: "Julian Assange's Right to Asylum"

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/12015-focus-julian-assanges-right-to-asylum

- snip -

The evidence that the US seeks to prosecute and extradite Assange is substantial. There is no question that the Obama justice department has convened an active grand jury to investigate whether WikiLeaks violated the draconian Espionage Act of 1917. Key senators from President Obama's party, including Senate intelligence committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, have publicly called for his prosecution under that statute. A leaked email from the security firm Stratfor – hardly a dispositive source, but still probative – indicated that a sealed indictment has already been obtained against him. Prominent American figures in both parties have demanded Assange's lifelong imprisonment, called him a terrorist, and even advocated his assassination.

For several reasons, Assange has long feared that the US would be able to coerce Sweden into handing him over far more easily than if he were in Britain. For one, smaller countries such as Sweden are generally more susceptible to American pressure and bullying.

For another, that country has a disturbing history of lawlessly handing over suspects to the US. A 2006 UN ruling found Sweden in violation of the global ban on torture for helping the CIA render two suspected terrorists to Egypt, where they were brutally tortured (both individuals, asylum-seekers in Sweden, were ultimately found to be innocent of any connection to terrorism and received a monetary settlement from the Swedish government).

Perhaps most disturbingly of all, Swedish law permits extreme levels of secrecy in judicial proceedings and oppressive pre-trial conditions, enabling any Swedish-US transactions concerning Assange to be conducted beyond public scrutiny. Ironically, even the US State Department condemned Sweden's "restrictive conditions for prisoners held in pretrial custody", including severe restrictions on their communications with the outside world.

Assange's fear of ending up in the clutches of the US is plainly rational and well-grounded. One need only look at the treatment over the last decade of foreign nationals accused of harming American national security to know that's true; such individuals are still routinely imprisoned for lengthy periods without any charges or due process. Or consider the treatment of Bradley Manning, accused of leaking to WikiLeaks: a formal UN investigation found that his pre-trial conditions of severe solitary confinement were "cruel, inhuman and degrading", and he now faces capital charges of aiding al-Qaida. The Obama administration's unprecedented obsession with persecuting whistleblowers and preventing transparency – what even generally supportive, liberal magazines call "Obama's war on whistleblowers" – makes those concerns all the more valid.

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Reply Glenn Greenwald in Guardian UK: "Julian Assange's Right to Asylum" (Original post)
Hissyspit Jun 2012 OP
Hassin Bin Sober Jun 2012 #1
Hissyspit Jun 2012 #2
backscatter712 Jun 2012 #4
tsuki Jun 2012 #6
kenny blankenship Jun 2012 #3
Tierra_y_Libertad Jun 2012 #5

Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:48 PM

1. Greenwald never loved... lives in..... is gay.... or something!!!

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 03:52 PM

2. Wouldn’t the UK be more likely to extradite Assange than Sweden?

http://justice4assange.com/US-Extradition.html

- snip -

Wouldn’t the UK be more likely to extradite Assange than Sweden?

Some critical voices claim that the UK-US extradition treaty is more permissive than the Sweden-US extradition treaty. Extradition to the US, they claim, would be simpler from the UK than from Sweden.

This argument fails on several points:

The UK’s extradition treaty does not have the temporary surrender (’conditional release’) clause. The UK’s judicial review process, while far from perfect, has a number of practical review mechanisms. The nearest equivalent case, of Gary McKinnon - a UK citizen who has been charged for hacking US military systems - has been opposed in the courts for 8 years.

Public opinion and the media (to a greater extent) are more sympathetic to Julian Assange in the UK than in Sweden. Public pressure could draw out the process of extradition to the United States in the UK. In Sweden the media climate is hostile (see Media climate in Sweden) due to the sex allegations. Public outcry would be significantly weaker and therefore less likely to stand in the way of a strategically convenient extradition.

In the UK, Julian Assange is better able to defend himself, muster support and understand the legal procedures against him. In Sweden on the other hand, the language barrier prevents him from effectively challenging the actions against.

The UK is politically better positioned to withstand pressure from the United States than Sweden. Sweden is a small country of nine million people close to Russia. It has grown increasingly dependent on the United States. In recent years Sweden has complied with directives from the United States in a manner that has not been scrutinised by Parliament, as has been revealed by the disclosed diplomatic cables (see Political Interference).

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Response to Hissyspit (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 04:19 PM

4. The thing about Sweden is that their arrest/prosecution process is very closed and secretive.

Bail hearings are closed, and the accused are routinely ordered imprisoned, locked in solitary 23/7, forbidden from communicating with anybody except their lawyers, held out of all communication, which makes it very easy to silence him, arrange the extradition/rendition to the U.S. or some hellhole like Bagram behind closed doors in smoke-filled rooms, and essentially make him disappear off the face of the earth.

UK procedures are so inconveniently public that it makes it hard to deny Assange his rights.

And yes, Sweden has already done this to two "terrorists" - renditioned to Egypt at the behest of the CIA, where they were tortured. Later, they were found to be innocent, and Sweden was forced to pay settlements to them.

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Response to Hissyspit (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 05:19 PM

6. And as I understand it, the UK

makes it very hard to extradite to countries that have the death penalty or torture their prisoners.

Also, Sweden has a poor human rights record. The knowingly and willingly participated in rendition until they lost a lawsuit and were exposed to the rest of the EU.

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Response to Hissyspit (Original post)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 04:13 PM

3. Julian Assange will never leave Casablanca...



...alive.

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Response to kenny blankenship (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 20, 2012, 04:20 PM

5. And.. A kiss is just a kiss.

 

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