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Thursday, 16 August 2012 20:08

Ecuador Embassy under siege after Assange granted asylum Featured

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Wikileaks founding editor Julian Assange faces the possibility of being forcibly removed by British police from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Ecuador, which has granted Assange asylum, claims to have received notice from British authorities that police may enter the embassy to arrest the Australian journalist. While Britain has denied this, it has refused to grant Assange safe passage out of Britain.

 

According to the British authorities, Britain is obligated to comply with Sweden's request for extradition

Assange, who has not yet been indicted for any crime, is wanted for questioning in Sweden for allegedly having consensual sex with two women without using a condom. Assange has offered to be interrogated by Swedish authorities in Britain but this was refused.

Sweden issued a request to Britain for Assange to be extradited for questioning by Swedish police and Britain complied, holding Assange in prison before releasing him on bail with an electronic ankle bracelet.

After exhausting all avenues of appeal against his extradition in the British courts, Assange broke his bail on 19 June by walking into the Ecuadorian Embassy, where has remained until Ecuador decides whether it will grant him asylum. The decision is due to be announced at 10pm Australian east coast time.

As crowds of Assange supporters gathered around the Ecuadorian Embassy, there was a commensurate buildup of police surrounding the building.

Though he has not been charged with any crime, there can be no doubt that Assange is a political prisoner.

The extraordinary actions by both Sweden and especially Britain show that Assange is wanted not for any sexual misconduct in Sweden but rather for the actions of Wikileaks publishing sensitive embassy cables last year.

The so-called crime that Assange has allegedly committed in Sweden is not even considered a crime in Britain and is at worst a relatively minor offence in Sweden.

Assange is fearful that if he is extradited to Sweden, he will eventually end up in the hands of American authorities and then be extradited to the US.  The evidence shows his fears are well grounded.

There have been calls from US political circles for Assange to assassinated, hunted down and treated as a terrorist.

Meanwhile, the Wikileaks website has been continuously attacked with DDOS bombardment, presumably by hackers working for the political establishment, to keep the site off the net.

Aside from anything else, the treatment of Assange by the British justice system has become a disturbing indictment on the deteriorating state of political freedom in the so-called free world.

If Assange is arrested and extradited to Sweden, which is probable, the world will be watching to see if freedom still truly exists or is now just an increasingly thin illusion.

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Stan Beer

 

Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 30 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.

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