Julian Assange: how WikiLeaks founder could leave Ecuador’s London embassy: From giving diplomatic status to smuggling him out, here are options that Ecuador could try – Ecuador offers Sweden to make his questing because of the accusations in the embassy – Assange is ready for a video interview – but it seams, Britain and Sweden are not interested in it – they want him personally!

regular video updates from the Ecuadorian Embassy from London


Julian Assange: how WikiLeaks founder could leave Ecuador’s London embassy

From giving diplomatic status to smuggling him out, here are options that Ecuador could try

Julian Assange

Julian Assange’s poster outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London – the WikiLeaks founder has got political asylum but risks arrest on leaving the embassy. Photograph: Will Oliver/AFP/Getty Images

Ecuador has granted the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange political asylum – but he cannot leave the country’s embassy in London without risking arrest.

So what happens next?

Could Ecuador give Assange a diplomatic passport?

Such passports are supposed to facilitate travel but do not confer immunity from the laws of other states.

Could Ecuador grant Assange diplomatic status?

This would be a bold move by Ecuador, and would ratchet up the crisis. Article 29 of the Vienna Convention states that those with diplomatic status are immune from prosecution. It reads: “The person of a diplomatic agent shall be inviolable. He shall not be liable to any form of arrest or detention. The receiving state shall treat him with due respect and shall take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on his person, freedom or dignity.”

But there is a countervailing obligation on Ecuador to respect the laws of the UK and not to interfere in Britain’s internal affairs.

Joanne Foakes, a former Foreign Office lawyer now based at the international think tank Chatham House, said: “In principle, a state can freely appoint anyone as a member of its mission, apart from its head of mission. But if they were to seek to do so now, it would be an obvious device to evade the laws of the receiving state, the UK. In these circumstances the UK may feel justified in repudiating such an appointment.”

Could embassy officials put Assange in a diplomatic vehicle and drive him to the airport?

Diplomatic vehicles are immune from searches from the receiving country, in this case the UK. But even if Assange managed to get into an embassy car without being arrested, he would at some stage have to get out to board a plane. At that point he will have lost the protection conferred by being technically on Ecuadorean soil, and would be back under UK jurisdiction and liable for arrest.

Could he be smuggled out – or placed in a crate or bag that has diplomatic protection?

As far-fetched as this sounds, it has been tried before in the UK.

In 1984 an attempt was made to abduct a Nigerian politician, Umaru Dikko, from Britain by placing him in a crate and attempting to ship him back to Nigeria. Those involved tried, but failed, to label the crate correctly as a diplomatic package or bag.

The Vienna Convention says: “The diplomatic bag shall not be opened or detained.”

But such a package is not immune from scanning, or from thermal imaging, which would pick up body heat from inside any such package. In such circumstances, UK authorities may be entitled to open the package and seize the concealed Assange.


Julian Assange ‘doing all right’ amid Ecuador asylum row

WikiLeaks founder spends comfortable night at Ecuadorean embassy in London as protesters plan show of solidarity

Julian Assange suppporters demonstrate in front of the Ecuadorean embassy in Knightsbridge, London

Julian Assange suppporters demonstrate in front of the Ecuadorean embassy in Knightsbridge, west London. Photograph: Bimal Gautam/Xinhua Press/Corbis

The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange spent a comfortable night in the Ecuadorean embassy in London after the South American country’s decision to offer him asylum, and is said to be “doing all right”, according to a diplomatic source.

More than a dozen Metropolitan police officers stood guard outside the redbrick Knightsbridge mansion block on Friday morning, accompanied by a handful of his supporters who are understood to be planning a show of solidarity and direct action tonight in protest over the British government’s treatment of Assange.

A strong international media presence remained behind barriers outside, where gutters were full of beer cans and coffee cups.

One supporter, Tristan Woodwards, said he had spent the night camped out opposite the embassy to show sympathy. “I’m here to support Julian Assange and WikiLeaks and to show my disgust at the British government’s threat to a sovereign nation’s embassy,” he said. “It’s completely wrong. People talk about the [assault] allegations, but [the UK government’s reaction] seems over the top for someone who’s supposed to have committed a crime.”

Another supporter, Tammy Samede, said she had decided to keep watch on the embassy to make sure the government acted in accordance with international law. “To be honest, I’m not a fan of the British government for a lot reasons,” she said. “But they’re using the need to question him to get him out of here and get him to Sweden, who will extradite him to the US, who will probably imprison him forever or execute him.”

Samede said that while the women who had made the assault allegations had every right to due process, the case should be dealt with “in the proper manner and not in the political manner”. She said Assange had offered to answer questions by videolink, but British authorities seemed unwilling to let him.

Asked how long she would keep vigil, she said: “It’s not the most comfortable place, but standing up for what’s right is never comfortable. That’s why [Assange] is stuck in a room without a window in the embassy.”

About ottwf

The capitalistic and imperialistic system and its systematic aims: profit and power over others, still dominates our world and not the aims of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as 1948 agreed! After the world-economic-crisis after 1929 and the following World-War the world hat decided with agreeing the Universal Declaration of Human rights, to create a new world order; conflicts should be solved with peaceful means, not nations and their power, but the dignity of human beings around the world should be the aim of the policies and the economy, of every state and the community of states. But soon after the end of the war, when the victims and destruction were forgotten, all continued as before, with all risks, we had seen before. The split in rich an poor is getting bigger and bigger. We also overuse our global environment already, even if the big majority of mankind still lives in poverty! We are not victims, this world is men-made and be changed from men and women! It will be possible, if those, who do not want or serve (because of system-pressure) profits first, but want for themselves and everybody a life in human dignity unite and develop in a global base-democratic movement a common vision for our world, and learn, how to make this vision real. We need for it a big empowerment of many, many common men and women and their activities. Our chances are because of new communication technologies, of common languages, of the level of education and the mixture of people from different backgrounds better then ever. The occupy-movement is a good start for such a global movement. We support it and try to contribute to its success! We choose news and make comments and so try to unite people for an Occupy-Think-Tank: Its tasks: creating a news-network, self-education, working on global-reform programs and learning to organize projects for those, who are suffering. Join us, so that we can build teams for these aims for all subjects and countries as a base for the unification. We have Wan(n)Fried(en) in our name, because it means When peace and it is a modification of the name of the town our base is, in Wanfried, a small town in the middle of Germany, where we can use a former factory for our activities. Our telefon: 0049-5655-924981, mobil: 0171-9132149, email: occupy-think-tank@gmx.de
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