Only three days after a ‘Big Win For Julian Assange’, see snoopydawg, July 14, caucus99percent.com:
“The Inter-American Court of Human Rights based in Costa Rica has ruled that the British government has to let Assange leave the Ecuadorian embassy without harassment or threat of arrest and let him go to Ecuador where he was granted citizenship.”
From thetimes.co.uk July 16 ‘Ecuador in talks to evict Julian Assange, its ‘stone in the shoe’; The South American state and UK ministers are trying to find a way to evict the WikiLeaks founder from its London embassy (h/t wsws with more in a bit)
“Britain is in high-level talks with Ecuador in an attempt to remove Julian Assange from its London embassy, where he has been sheltering for more than six years.
Ministers and senior Foreign Office officials are locked in discussions over the fate of Assange, the founder and editor of WikiLeaks, who claimed political asylum from Ecuador in 2012 and who believes he will be extradited to the United States if he leaves the embassy in Knightsbridge, central London.
Sir Alan Duncan, the Foreign Office minister, is understood to be involved in the diplomatic effort, which comes weeks before a visit to the UK by Lenin Moreno, the new Ecuadorean president, who has called Assange a “hacker”, an “inherited problem” and a “stone in the shoe”.
“Last month two officials from the Australian High Commission paid a first visit in six years to the Ecuadorean embassy in London in a signal that there may be a breakthrough in the stalemate. Assange’s lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, said she could not reveal details about the meeting “given the delicate diplomatic situation”.
She has recently lobbied the United Nations about the “severe” impact the confinement has had on Assange’s physical and mental health and claims he is being denied proper medical attention.
Sources close to Assange believe his right to political asylum cannot be revoked under international law.”
“Sources close to the Australian-born Assange said he was not aware of the talks but believed that America was exerting “significant pressure” on Ecuador, including threatening to block a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) if the Latin American state did not evict him from the embassy.”
The news comes after 12 Russian spies were charged with hacking the emails of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in America during her campaign to become president in 2016.
According to the US Department of Justice, the embarrassing emails were then passed to WikiLeaks, which published them “to heighten their impact” during the electoral race, which was ultimately won by Donald Trump.”
From Oscar Grenfell, wsws.org, 16 July 2018: ‘British and Ecuadorian authorities in talks to evict Julian Assange from London embassy’
“The report is the latest public indication of a conspiracy, involving the British, US and Ecuadorian governments, to terminate Assange’s political asylum, in violation of international law, and force him into UK custody. The major powers are determined to prosecute the WikiLeaks editor for his organisation’s role in exposing US-led war crimes and diplomatic intrigues around the world.
Since then, however, Assange has fallen out with the new Moreno administration, which has cut off his internet access, installed jammers and banned visitors to the embassy apart from his lawyers.”
“The Ecuadorian government has repeatedly bowed to the demands of the major powers. In March, it cut-off Assange’s internet access and his right to receive visitors, aside from occasional legal briefings, in an attempt to create conditions so intolerable that he will voluntarily leave the embassy. According to WikiLeaks associates, Ecuador has developed a “hostile climate” for Assange within the building, including by instructing embassy staff not to approach or speak to him.”
“The Ecuadorian authorities are well aware that if they renege on Assange’s asylum and force him out of the embassy, he will be arrested by British authorities on trumped-up bail charges stemming from his asylum-bid in 2012.”
“Geoffrey Robertson, a prominent legal authority and advisor to WikiLeaks, warned last week that the preparations by the Trump administration to prosecute Assange on espionage charges involved the creation of a “new legal theory” that would curtail the free speech protections of the US Constitution’s First Amendment, by arguing that they did not extend to foreign journalists. He said that the defence of Assange was “moving up to be a major free press issue.”
The attacks on Assange are one of the sharpest expressions of a turn to authoritarianism by governments around the world. Well aware that their program of militarism, war and austerity is opposed by the vast majority of the population, the ruling class is turning to the censorship of the internet, in an attempt to prevent workers and young people from accessing any alternative to the corporate and state-aligned media.”
“In workplaces, factories, neighbourhoods and on university campuses, preparations must be made for mass political action, including protests, demonstrations, and strikes, if Assange is expelled from the Ecuadorian embassy and faces extradition to the US.”
(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)