UPDATED! 30 June 2012: A spokesperson for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he has defied a British police order to turn himself in for extradition to Sweden and will remain holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London.
Julian Assange is seeking asylum in Ecuador in a last-ditch bid to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning over allegations of sexual assault. The Australian born founder of Wikileaks visited Ecuador’s embassy in London this morning to seek political asylum.
A statement on the embassy’s website said Ecuador was a signatory to the United Nations Universal Declaration for Human Rights and had an obligation to review all applications for asylum.
The decision to consider Mr Assange’s application for protective asylum should in no way be interpreted as the Government of Ecuador interfering in the judicial processes of either the United Kingdom or Sweden.
The statement from the Embassy of Ecuador in London said, ”While the department assesses Mr Assange’s application, Mr Assange will remain at the embassy, under the protection of the Ecuadorian Government,” the statement said. ”The decision to consider Mr Assange’s application for protective asylum should in no way be interpreted as the Government of Ecuador interfering in the judicial processes of either the United Kingdom or Sweden.”
On June 15, 2012 Britain’s Supreme Court has dismissed a bid by Australian WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to reopen his appeal against extradition to Sweden over alleged sex crimes ::::
Seven judges from Britain’s top court unanimously dismissed Mr Assange’s move to reopen the appeal as being “without merit”. Two weeks ago the court rejected his argument that a European arrest warrant for extradition was invalid. Swedish prosecutors want to question the 40-year-old over allegations of rape and sexual assault made by two women in 2010.
Mr Assange, whose WikiLeaks website infuriated the United States by publishing leaked diplomatic cables, maintains the allegations against him are politically motivated.
A lower court in Britain initially approved Mr Assange’s extradition to Sweden in February 2011. An appeal to the High Court was rejected in November, but Mr Assange subsequently won permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.
Mr Assange’s supporters fear he will be extradited to the US if he is taken to Sweden. The Australian’s last avenue of appeal now is taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
Mr Assange has – once again – surprised the galaxy by appealing for political asylum to a foreign nation who it is believed doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Sweden, though we note that the Republic of Ecuador DOES have extradition treaties with the United States.
Ecuador’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, confirmed officials were considering Mr Assange’s asylum request.
“Ecuador is studying and analysing the request,” he told reporters in Quito.
WikiLeaks confirmed on Twitter that their founder had requested political asylum.
Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Australia would continue to offer consular support to Mr Assange, and said Australian officials would be in touch with him.
“Mr Assange’s decisions and choices are a matter for Mr Assange,” Ms Gillard told reporters at the G20 conference in Mexico. ”Our consular officials will be in contact with him and also with Ecuador in London about this, but his decisions in relation to this matter are for him to make.”
Last week, Britain’s Supreme Court rejected Mr Assange’s request to reopen an appeal against an extradition order to Sweden.
A Swedish prosecutor wants to question him over allegations he sexually assaulted two women in August 2010.
His supporters say the charges are politically motivated and fear he could be extradited to the United States to face charges over the publication of leaked diplomatic cables.
Sweden’s director of public prosecution, Marianne Ny, has released a statement saying she cannot comment on Mr Assange’s bid for asylum.
“An application for asylum is a matter between British and Ecuadorian authorities and, therefore, does not concern the investigation in Sweden,” the statement said.
Mr Assange’s mother Christine said the asylum bid took her by surprise. ”This is the last desperate effort because he is a political prisoner, but I hope the Ecuador government gives him asylum,” she said. ”As we speak I have got no doubt the Americans are intimidating Ecuador right now to try and back off. I’m hoping that they’ll hold firm knowing that the world’s people want this to happen.”
Mr Assange has been producing a talk show from house arrest in London and last month interviewed Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa.
He described the president as “a left-wing populist who has changed the face of Ecuador”, before a discussion of the country’s relationship with the United States, and the “corrupt” Ecuadorian media.
In 2010, Ecuador said it wanted to invite Mr Assange to the country so he could speak publicly about Wikileaks.
“We are open to giving him residency in Ecuador, without any problem and without any conditions,” Ecuador’s deputy foreign minister Kintto Lucas said at the time. “We think it would be important not only to converse with him but also to listen to him.”
UPDATE! 22 June 2012: Ecuador’s government has told the ABC that it will make a decision on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s asylum application within the next 24 hours.
Mr Assange is spending a second night inside Ecuador’s London embassy, while British police wait outside to arrest for him for breaching his bail conditions.
Ecuador’s deputy foreign minister Marco Albuja says a decision on Mr Assange’s fate will be made soon.
“We still can’t make a final decision public yet until tomorrow,” he told AM.
“The national government is considering its position and the president will give us his instructions tomorrow.”
Mr Assange went to the embassy in central London on Tuesday, saying he wanted to claim diplomatic immunity and political asylum.
But he now faces arrest for breaching the conditions of his bail, which stipulates that he must stay at his bail address between 10:00pm and 8:00am.
The 40-year-old Australian is fighting extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning on allegations of sexual assault.
His supporters say the charges are politically motivated and say he believes he could be extradited to the US to face espionage charges if Swedish authorities get their hands on him.
Ecuador’s foreign minister Ricardo Patiño said he was considering whether Mr Assange could be executed for espionage if he was sent to the US.
“We are now studying Assange’s charge that he risks being tried for political reasons and could be sentenced to death,” Mr Patiño said on his Twitter account.
“Ecuador declares that it will protect the human right to life and to freedom of expression,” Mr Patiño said, adding that Mr Assange’s request for political asylum “requires profound analysis.”
Police say Mr Assange will be arrested even if he leaves the embassy in London in a diplomatic car.
“At around 22:20 Tuesday the Metropolitan Police Service was notified that Assange had breached one of those bail conditions,” a Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said.
“He is now subject to arrest under the Bail Act for breach of these conditions. Officers are aware of his location at the Ecuador embassy in Hans Crescent, London.”
However, Britain’s Foreign Office said that because Mr Assange was in an embassy he was on diplomatic territory and “beyond the reach of the police”.
It said it was working to resolve the situation.
Mr Assange’s move also raises the question of whether his friends and supporters will get back the $350,000 they donated so he could post bail.
There has been a small but constant police presence outside the embassy, where half a dozen Assange supporters joined the media throng on Wednesday.
Mr Assange’s friend Gavin MacFadyen was an early visitor.
“It’s a very fluid situation and as I say, he’s in very good humour and the generosity of the embassy is impressive and moving,” he told AM.
“I think he’s very grateful for it.”
Extradition lawyer Alex Carlile is convinced the stand-off will only end one way.
“I am sure that in due course he will be told to leave the embassy. He will then be arrested,” he said.
“He will probably be refused bail because he has made this attempt to escape.
“He will then be extradited to Sweden because he has exhausted all his remedies here and the Swedish courts will then have to decide whether he is given bail or remains in custody in Sweden.”
Mr Assange’s backers may have been caught by surprise by his bid for asylum, but those who have spoken publicly have reiterated their support.
Author Phillip Knightley may lose more than $30,000 in bail if Mr Assange is rearrested, but says he understands why his friend chose to do it.
“He is a victim of a flawed judicial system in Britain and Sweden. He is the victim, I think, of persecution,” he said.
“I think there was a hidden agenda through the whole of his arrest for sexual charges and I feel that he did the only possible thing to avoid a long term in a US jail.”
Another friend, Australian human rights lawyer Jennifer Robinson, says he chose Ecuador because of welcoming signs given by the country’s leaders.
And she said the decision was not made in the heat of the moment and he had also received offers from Tunisia.
“This is not an act of desperation. This is a person who has sought to exercise his right to seek refugee status and seek political asylum,” she said.
Barrister Helena Kennedy is an expert in human rights law who has advised the Assange team in the past.
She believes this is a bid to get guarantees from Sweden.
“I suspect that one would be asking the Swedish authorities to give an undertaking that they are required in international law, [to ensure that] a country to which a person has surrendered should only deal with him on the offences for which he has been surrendered, and that the moment it is finished, he should be allowed to exit that country,” she said.
Ms Kennedy said she believed that if Sweden offered that promise, the Ecuadorians would let Mr Assange leave.
Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr has dismissed the Assange camp’s claims that he could face extradition to the US.
“There has been no hint of an American interest in doing this,” he said.
“In theory it could not be ruled out, but it just strikes me as curious that if the Americans wanted to extradite him they would have every opportunity to extradite him from the United Kingdom, where he’s been for some years.
“There’s an extradition treaty, I understand, between the United States and the United Kingdom. And indeed there’s some legal advice that it would be easier for America to do it with the United Kingdom than with the government of Sweden.”
On A Limb, On The Lamb
UPDATE! 23 June 2012: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has told the ABC he still does not know how long it will be before Ecuador decides whether to grant him asylum. Mr Assange was speaking to Radio National’s Fran Kelly this morning from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been holed up since Tuesday.
It is the first time he has spoken out since his dramatic bid to seek refuge in the South American country and avoid extradition to Sweden.
He accused the US ambassador to Australia and Prime Minister Julia Gillard of using “slimy rhetoric” in his case, and dismissed repeated Australian Government claims that he has been receiving ongoing consular assistance.
“I haven’t met with anyone from the Australian High Commission since December 2010,” he said, adding that his contact since then had been limited to text messages asking “Does Mr Assange have any concerns?”.
He said he was seeking asylum in Ecuador because he was not prepared to go to Sweden under the terms he believed he would be held there.
“The Swedes announced publicly, that they would detain me, in prison, without charge while they continued their so-called investigation,” he said.
“We had heard that the Ecuadorians were sympathetic in relation to my struggles and the struggles of the organisation with the United States, and the ability to exercise that option was at an effective end.”
Mr Assange said Attorney-General Nicola Roxon had refused “reasonable requests” by his lawyer to consult or be involved in discussions on the matter, labelling it an “effective declaration of abandonment”.
“There is not a single matter of concern under which the Australian Government, as represented by the Attorney-General, would ask other governments to be reasonable or just in this case,” he said.
“There are serious issues here, and they are being hidden by the slimy rhetoric coming out of the US ambassador to Australia, via Prime Minister Julia Gillard and by the Foreign Minister – and that needs to stop,” he said.
Mr Assange acknowledged that the United States had indicated that it would not extradite him, but said officials were “being very careful with their words”.
“Their careful statements reflect that the [US] Department of Justice is not able to formally confirm or deny the existence of the grand jury – it’s a policy with all grand juries. But there are subpoenas everywhere, there are witnesses who have come out on public record,” he said.
“We have received subpoenas – the subpoenas mention my name. In the past month, two people have been detained at the US airport by US officials, interrogated by the FBI. They ask questions about me and my organisation, ask [them] to become informers.
“This is a hot, ongoing, active investigation – and as of two weeks ago. “
Yesterday, Ms Roxon said there were no indications the US government was about to take legal action against Mr Assange, but the WikiLeaks founder disputes that.
“They are taking legal action, the evidence is everywhere… it’s a matter of public record. We have been fighting a legal case in the legal record in relation to the Twitter subpoenas for over a year now,” he said.
“So they’re playing word games here. The games that they’re playing is that the grand jury needs to conclude. The grand jury is a judicial device, and not seen to be part of the executive – and so they can say they are not about to indict because the grand jury has not yet concluded.
“On the conclusion of the grand jury, the Department of Justice will take the indictments of the grand jury and pursue the matter.”
Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa says his government will take its time in deciding whether to grant asylum to the Australian anti-secrecy campaigner.
Friends say Mr Assange is working with his lawyers on what has been a complicated legal process.
Wikileaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson said reports quoting Ecuador’s deputy foreign minister Marco Albuja as saying that Mr Correa would give his instructions within 24 hours were “based on a misunderstanding by Australian media”.
Mr Albuja had told the ABC’s AM program on Thursday morning that: “The president will give us his instructions tomorrow“.
“It could take hours, it could take days. I have no idea. I assume that if asylum is not granted then he will leave the embassy and will be arrested,” Mr Hrafnsson said.
“The request is being processed by the Ecuadorian authorities. They are waiting for information from the UK, the US and the Swedish authorities. He will stay until this matter is settled.”
Mr Assange, 40, turned up to the embassy on Tuesday (local time) and sought asylum in a dramatic bid to avoid extradition to Sweden over allegations of sexual assault.
Three policeman stood guard outside the embassy on Thursday.
Another two plainclothes officers sat in a car that carried a small police badge in the windscreen.
Around five protesters also gathered outside the building.
Mr Correa, who was interviewed by Mr Assange for the former hacker’s television show, which airs on Moscow-backed broadcaster Russia Today, indicated that the decision-making process could stretch out.
“He (Mr Assange) presented his reasons. We are going to verify them… we will take the time necessary,” Mr Correa said, adding that it would be done “with absolute seriousness and absolute responsibility”.
The leftist leader, who has often been at odds with Washington, said his government was studying Mr Assange’s claim that he could be extradited from Sweden to the United States on political grounds and possibly sentenced to death.
“Ecuador is a country which defends the right to life. We have to see whether there is a threat to Julian Assange’s life,” Mr Correa said.
Anna Alban, the Ecuadorian ambassador to the UK, said in a statement on Wednesday that she had held “cordial and constructive” talks about the asylum request with Britain’s Foreign Office.
Britain’s Supreme Court last week threw out Assange’s application to reopen his appeal against extradition to Sweden after a marathon legal battle.
He has until June 28 to lodge an appeal at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, after which the extradition process can begin.
Mr Assange was on $315,000 bail, which included the condition that he spend the night at home. He became eligible for arrest late on Tuesday as he spent his first night inside the embassy.
Australian Government Denies US Wants To Extradite Our Julian
UPDATE! 25 June 2012: The Australian Federal Government says there is no evidence to suggest Julian Assange will eventually be extradited to America to face trial for divulging US state secrets. The WikiLeaks founder is holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London as his bid for political asylum is considered.
Mr Assange is seeking to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning on sex abuse allegations, and also fears Stockholm will turn him over to the United States.
WikiLeaks enraged Washington by releasing a flood of classified information and diplomatic cables in 2010, and Mr Assange says America wants to try him for leaking the documents.
Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr has told the ABC’s Insiders program that is not the case.
“When I’ve raised it and I think I have raised it on two occasions with US officials, I’ve received no hint that they’ve got a plan to extradite him to the US,” Senator Carr said. ”There was one allegation that appeared somewhere of something called a sealed indictment. No US figure has confirmed that to us.
“What I’ve said to a senior US official is that Mr Assange is an Australian citizen. We’ve got an interest in this. Have you got plans to extradite him?” ons with US officials, I’ve received no hint that they’ve got a plan to extradite him to the US,” Senator Carr said. ”They haven’t said they have plans to extradite him. They haven’t been able to rule out that one corner of the American administration might not be considering it, but I would expect that the US would not want to touch this.”
Senator Carr says if America did seek to extradite Mr Assange, Australia would step in.
“That would be a position we’d take when we heard that the US had the remotest interest in touching him. They know we’re concerned about it,” he said. ”They know we don’t want an extradition of Assange from anywhere. They know that’s the well-worn Australian position.”
Last week Mr Assange slammed the Government, saying he has not been receiving ongoing consular assistance.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard denied that claim – a stance Senator Carr today repeated.
Senator Carr says Mr Assange is receiving the same amount of assistance as any other Australian.
‘Profound moral questions’
Senator Carr says while he has no personal view of Mr Assange, WikiLeaks’ release of cables raises important questions.
“I would say that releasing a whole batch of secret material without assessment and without justification raises profound moral questions,” he said.
“For example, if that secret material reveals secret talks between an American diplomat in the Middle East and a politician in the Arab world, and the release of the material puts at risk the life of the Arab politician for simply talking to Americans, then that’s a very worrying concern. That has been raised with Assange. His response has been, ‘well, so be it’.
“There’s an amorality about what’s been at work here. Secrets being released for the sake of being released without inherent justification. But that said, we will take a position to defend an Australian citizen if faced with an extradition request that hasn’t got justification.”
It remains unknown if Mr Assange, 40, will be granted asylum in Ecuador.
Even if he is, British police say they will arrest him for being in breach of his bail conditions as soon as he sets foot outside the embassy.
Mr Assange was on $315,000 bail, which included the condition he spend nights at home.
High Profile Americans Sign On The DOTTY Line
UPDATED! 26 June 2012: And the saga continues…
A group of high-profile Americans, including filmmaker Michael Moore and author Naomi Wolf, have signed a letter of support for Julian Assange’s asylum bid.
The WikiLeaks founder is still holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London seeking political asylum.
He is seeking to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning on sex abuse allegations.
Supporters delivered a letter urging Ecuador to grant his request because they believe he faces the threat of persecution in the US if he is extradited to Sweden.
Others who signed the letter include actor Danny Glover and philosopher Noam Chomsky.
“Because this is a clear case of an attack on press freedom and on the public’s right to know important truths about US foreign policy, and because the threat to his health and well-being is serious, we urge you to grant Mr Assange political asylum,” the letter said.
See below for the full letter, or checkout justforeignpolicy.org
The group Just Foreign Policy also delivered a petition signed by 4,000 Americans.
WikiLeaks enraged Washington by releasing a flood of classified information and diplomatic cables in 2010, and Mr Assange says America wants to try him for leaking the documents.
A WikiLeaks spokesman says there is still no clear idea when a decision on Mr Assange’s future will be made.
Even if he is granted asylum in Ecuador, British police say they will arrest him for being in breach of his bail conditions as soon as he sets foot outside the embassy.
Moore, Glover, Stone, Maher, Greenwald, Wolf, Ellsberg Urge Correa to Grant Asylum to Assange
The following letter has been circulated mostly in the United States by Just Foreign Policy. It was hand-delivered to the Embassy of Ecuador in London by Just Foreign Policy’s Policy Director Robert Naiman on Monday, June 25.
We also hand-delivered the online petition circulated by Just Foreign Policy, which has been signed by more than 4000 people. That petition – which you can still sign – is here: http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/assange-asylum
June 25, 2012
Dear President Correa,
We are writing to urge you to grant political asylum to Julian Assange.
As you know, British courts recently struck down Mr. Assange’s appeal against extradition to Sweden, where he is not wanted on criminal charges, but merely for questioning. Mr. Assange has repeatedly made clear he is willing to answer questions relating to accusations against him, but in the United Kingdom. But the Swedish government insists that he be brought to Sweden for questioning. This by itself, as Swedish legal expert and former Chief District Prosecutor for Stockholm Sven-Erik Alhem testified, is “unreasonable and unprofessional, as well as unfair and disproportionate.”
We believe Mr. Assange has good reason to fear extradition to Sweden, as there is a strong likelihood that once in Sweden, he would be imprisoned, and then likely extradited to the United States.
As U.S. legal expert and commentator Glenn Greenwald recently noted, were Assange to be charged in Sweden, he would be imprisoned under “very oppressive conditions, where he could be held incommunicado,” rather than released on bail. Pre-trial hearings for such a case in Sweden are held in secret, and so the media and wider public, Greenwald notes, would not know how the judicial decisions against Mr. Assange would be made and what information would be considered.
The Washington Post has reported that the U.S. Justice Department and Pentagon conducted a criminal investigation into “whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange violated criminal laws in the group’s release of government documents, including possible charges under the Espionage Act.” Many fear, based on documents released by Wikileaks, that the U.S. government has already prepared an indictment and is waiting for the opportunity to extradite Assange from Sweden.
The U.S. Justice Department has compelled other members of Wikileaks to testify before a grand jury in order to determine what charges might be brought against Mr. Assange. The U.S. government has made clear its open hostility to Wikileaks, with high-level officials even referring to Mr. Assange as a “high-tech terrorist,” and seeking access to the Twitter account of Icelandic legislator Birgitta Jónsdóttir due to her past ties to Wikileaks.
Were he charged, and found guilty under the Espionage Act, Assange could face the death penalty.
Prior to that, the case of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier accused of providing U.S. government documents to Wikileaks, provides an illustration of the treatment that Assange might expect while in custody. Manning has been subjected to repeated and prolonged solitary confinement, harassment by guards, and humiliating treatment such as being forced to strip naked and stand at attention outside his cell. These are additional reasons that your government should grant Mr. Assange political asylum.
We also call on you to grant Mr. Assange political asylum because the “crime” that he has committed is that of practicing journalism. He has revealed important crimes against humanity committed by the U.S. government, most notably in releasing video footage from an Apache helicopter of a 2007 incident in which the U.S. military appears to have deliberately killed civilians, including two Reuters employees. Wikileaks’ release of thousands of U.S. State Department cables revealed important cases of U.S. officials acting to undermine democracy and human rights around the world.
Because this is a clear case of an attack on press freedom and on the public’s right to know important truths about U.S. foreign policy, and because the threat to his health and well-being is serious, we urge you to grant Mr. Assange political asylum.
Thank you for your consideration of our request.
Michael Moore, Film Director
Danny Glover, Film Director
Oliver Stone, Film Director
Bill Maher, Comedian, Television Host, Political Commentator, Author
Naomi Wolf, Author
Daniel Ellsberg, Vietnam War Whistleblower
Glenn Greenwald, Constitutional lawyer and columnist, Salon.com
Patch Adams, MD
Chris Hedges, Journalist
Tariq Ali, Historian and Filmmaker (UK)
Jemima Khan, Writer and Campaigner (UK)
Coleen Rowley, retired FBI agent & former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel, one of three “whistleblowers” named Time Magazine’s “Persons of the Year” in 2002
Ann Wright, US Army Colonel (Retired) and former US diplomat
Ray McGovern, Former U.S. Army officer and longtime senior CIA analyst (ret.)
Thomas Drake, NSA Whistleblower, Bill of Rights Activist
Sibel Edmonds, Founder & Director- National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (www.nswbc.org )
Linda Lewis, Board Member, Whistleblower Support Fund
Kent Spriggs, Guantanamo habeas counsel
Jesselyn Radack, National Security & Human Rights Director, Government Accountability Project
Jacob Appelbaum, Developer, The Tor Project
Mark Weisbrot, Co-Director, Center for Economic and Policy Research
Medea Benjamin, Cofounder, Global Exchange
Kathy Kelly, Co-coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Kevin Martin, Executive Director, Peace Action
Mark Johnson, Executive Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation
Annie Bird, co director, Rights Action
Denis J. Halliday, UN Assistant Secretary-General 1994-98. National of Ireland
Leslie Cagan, co-founder, United for Peace and Justice
Bill Fletcher, Jr., Co-author, “Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized Labor and A New Path Toward Social Justice”
Kevin Gosztola, writer for Firedoglake, co-author, Truth & Consequences: The US vs. Bradley Manning
Russ Wellen, Foreign Policy in Focus
James Early, Board Member, Institute for Policy Studies
Jim Naureckas, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting
Sam Husseini, Director, Washington Office of the Institute for Public Accuracy
Robert Naiman, Policy Director, Just Foreign Policy
Jane Hirschmann, Jews Say No! New York, organizer, U.S. Boat to Gaza
Richard Levy, lawyer, passenger, U.S. Boat to Gaza
Kit Kittredge, Passenger, US Boat to Gaza
Erin Deramus, passenger, U.S. Boat to Gaza
Nic Abramson, passenger, U.S. Boat to Gaza
Helaine Meisler, Orton-Gillingham Learning Specialist, Helaine Meisler Learning Center, Woodstock, New York
Laurie Arbeiter, Artist/Activist, WE WILL NOT BE SILENT
Johnny Barber, Photographer/Activist
Gail Miller, Social Worker/Activist, Women of a Certain Age
Carol Murry, Doctor of Public Health, Hawaii
Libor Von Schönau, OccupyWallStreet Legal, New York
Charlotte Wiktorsson, Doctor, Sweden
David K. Schermerhorn, Deer Harbor, WA, passenger, U.S. Boat to Gaza
Hedy Epstein, St. Louis, passenger, U.S. Boat to Gaza
Paki Wieland, MA, passenger, U.S. Boat to Gaza
Felice Gelman, Wespac, New York
Linda Durham, Founder, The Wonder Institute
Winston Weeks, Policy Analyst, Citizens Education Project, Salt Lake City, UT
Ellen Barfield, Veterans For Peace
Gar W. Lipow, journalist, member of Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace, author of Solving the Climate Crisis through Social Change
Stephen Sander, Lawyer, Sydney, Australia
Mayo C. Toruño, Professor and Chair, Economics Department, California State University, San Bernardino
Julio Huato, Associate Professor of Economics, St. Francis College
Michael Brun, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Illinois State University
James G. Devine, Professor of Economics, Loyola Marymount University
Michael A Lebowitz, Professor Emeritus, Economics (Canada)
Marta Harnecker, writer (Chile)
Dana Frank, Professor, Department of History, University of California, Santa Cruz
Adrienne Pine, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, American University
Miguel Tinker Salas, Professor, Latin American History, Pomona College
Steve Ellner, Professor of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University/Universidad de Oriente, Venezuela
Marc Becker, Professor of Latin American History, Truman State University
Dr Francisco Dominguez, Head of Centre for Brazilian and Latin American Studies, Middlesex University, London, UK
Peter Hallward, Professor of Philosophy, Kingston University London
Doug Hertzler, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Eastern Mennonite University
Arturo Escobar, Dept. of Anthropology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Carolyn Eisenberg, Professor of US Foreign Policy, Hofstra University
Vijay Prashad, Professor of International Studies, Trinity College, USA
T.M. Scruggs, Professor Emeritus, University of Iowa
Ellen Schrecker, Professor of History, Yeshiva University
Antonia Darder, Leavey Endowed Chair of Ethics and Moral Leadership, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles
Demetra Evangelou, Professor, Purdue University
Gilbert G. Gonzalez, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Irvine
Renate Bridenthal, Professor (retired), City University of New York
A. Belden Fields, Professor Emeritus, Political Science, University of Illinois
C. G. Estabrook, Visiting Professor (retired), University of Illinois
UK Police Serve Extradition Papers
UPDATED! 29 June 2012: British police have served an extradition notice on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has taken refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London requesting asylum.
Scotland Yard said on Thursday they had served a “surrender notice” on the 40-year-old Australian requiring him to attend a police station, adding that failure to do so would make him further liable to arrest.
Assange faces extradition to Sweden over sex crime allegations, having exhausted his options under British law when the Supreme Court overturned his appeal against extradition earlier this month.
Fearing Stockholm would pass him on to the United States where he fears being tried for treason, he sought refuge at Ecuador’s embassy in London on June 19, asking the South American country for political asylum.
Scotland Yard has “served a surrender notice upon a 40-year-old man that requires him to attend a police station at date and time of our choosing,” a spokesman said.
“This is standard practice in extradition cases and is the first step in the removal process.
“He remains in breach of his bail conditions. Failing to surrender would be a further breach of conditions and he is liable to arrest.”
It is understood that officers from Scotland Yard’s extradition unit delivered a note to the embassy saying Mr Assange has to present himself to a nearby police station at 11:30am (8:30pm AEST) on Friday, the domestic Press Association news agency said.
Citing sources, PA said a letter was also delivered for Mr Assange.
The embassy declined to comment on the serving of the police notice.
Mr Assange fears that from Sweden he will be extradited to the United States to face possible espionage charges, after releasing more than 250,000 US diplomatic cables on the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website.
Following a lengthy series of legal challenges that ran out earlier this month, he was given until June 28 to make a final appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, at which point extradition procedures in Britain could commence.
His lawyer was unavailable for comment on Thursday, while a spokesman for WikiLeaks said he had talked to Mr Assange on Wednesday, but declined to comment on whether an appeal to the ECHR had been made.
Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, met on Monday with his envoy to London and other top officials to discuss Mr Assange’s request.
“The request for political asylum is being examined along with all the political implications it will have, including for Mr Assange,” said foreign minister Ricardo Patino, adding that no timeframe had been set for a decision.
Mr Assange is already in breach of his bail conditions, which state he must be at a given address between 10:00pm and 8:00am.
But while he remains in the embassy he is protected by diplomatic immunity and beyond the reach of British authorities.
Assange Defies Order to Hand Himself In
UPDATED! 30 June 2012: A spokeswoman for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he has defied a British police order to turn himself in for extradition to Sweden and will remain holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London.
Mr Assange, who has applied for asylum in Ecuador, was served notice on Thursday to surrender himself to a central London police station, but decided not to comply.
“Julian will remain in the embassy under the protection of the Ecuadorian government,” Susan Benn of the Julian Assange Defence Fund told reporters outside the embassy in central London.
“Yesterday, Mr Assange was served with a letter from the Metropolitan Police Service requesting that he surrender himself to Belgravia police station at 11:30 this morning.
“Mr Assange has been advised that he should decline to comply with the police request.
“This should not be considered any sign of disrespect.
“Under both international and domestic UK law, asylum assessments take priority over extradition claims.
“The issues faced by Mr Assange are serious. His life and liberty, and the life and liberty of his organisation and and those associated with it, are at stake.”
Ms Benn said Mr Assange was in “good spirits”.
Ecuador Concerned Over REPUTATION?
UPDATE! 10 July 2012: Ecuador’s ambassador to Washington has expressed concerns that granting political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could be used to discredit Ecuador in the United States.
“Giving asylum to Assange would be used as ammunition to attack the country,” Ambassador Nathalie Cely said in a radio interview.
Mr Assange has been holed up in Quito’s embassy in London since last month, seeking political asylum to avoid being extradited to Sweden to answer questions about sex crime allegations.
Ecuador has said it is examining the request, and examining the allegations against the Australian national as part of the process.
Mr Assange maintains he only had consensual sexual relations with the alleged victims.
Ms Cely said salvos have already been launched by pressure groups seeking to “disparage her country in the eyes of US business leaders and policy makers.”
In the interview with Radio Majestad, the envoy said that recriminations against Quito for sheltering the Wikileaks founder “already have begun.”
Ms Cely said her government remained “ready as ever to defend our position and our decisions,” without providing any clues as to when Ecuador might make its decision on Mr Assange’s fate.
WikiLeaks and Mr Assange enraged the United States by publishing a flood of secret information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The website founder fears that if extradited to Sweden, he will be subsequently re-extradited to the United States to stand trial for espionage, on account of the 250,000 US diplomatic cables that were published.
Ecuador’s leftist President Rafael Correa – who has often been at odds with Washington and offered Mr Assange asylum in 2010 – has said that the South American country will take its time considering the application.