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Ecuador To Grant Assange Political Asylum 432

Posted by Soulskill
from the thought-that-only-happened-on-star-trek dept.
NSN A392-99-964-5927 writes with news that Ecaudor will grant Julian Assange's request for political asylum. An Ecuador official told The Guardian that the country's president, who earlier indicated his decision would arrive after the Olympic Games, will approve the request Assange made in June. "Government sources in Quito confirmed that despite the outstanding legal issues Correa would grant Assange asylum – a move which would annoy Britain, the US and Sweden. They added that the offer was made to Assange several months ago, well before he sought refuge in the embassy, and following confidential negotiations with senior London embassy staff. The official with knowledge of the discussions said the embassy had discussed Assange's asylum request. The British government, however, 'discouraged the idea,' the offical said. The Swedish government was also 'not very collaborative,' the official said. The official added: 'We see Assange's request as a humanitarian issue. The contact between the Ecuadorean government and WikiLeaks goes back to May 2011, when we became the first country to see the leaked US embassy cables completely declassified ... It is clear that when Julian entered the embassy there was already some sort of deal. We see in his work a parallel with our struggle for national sovereignty and the democratisation of international relations.'"
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Ecuador To Grant Assange Political Asylum

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  • Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @04:33PM (#40989183) Journal

    Good for Assange and good for Ecuador.

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Dyinobal (1427207) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @04:36PM (#40989225)
      Ya but if I Assange I'd be absurdly paranoid for the rest of my life. Drone strikes are so easy to do and for the USA to deploy a military asset to Ecuador cannot be that difficult.
      • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

        by crawling_chaos (23007) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @04:39PM (#40989273) Homepage
        Drones? More like hand over some unmarked Benjamins for a quick car accident and some planted cocaine.
        • by Dyinobal (1427207)
          You're right if he was going to get killed by a professional group it would not be something so obvious as a drone strike.
          • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

            by vlm (69642) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @05:11PM (#40989777)

            You're right if he was going to get killed by a professional group it would not be something so obvious as a drone strike.

            Agreed. They'd probably start by framing the guy in some kind of sex scandal, as is traditional for the US. Oh wait...

      • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

        by pnot (96038) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @04:53PM (#40989499)

        Quite apart from any supposed CIA attacks, Assange had better make sure he only says nice things about President Correa. From the Human Rights Watch Report [hrw.org]:

        Those involved in protests in which there are outbreaks of violence may be prosecuted on inflated and inappropriate terrorism charges. Criminal defamation laws that restrict freedom of expression remain in force and Correa has used them repeatedly against his critics... Impunity for police abuses is widespread... Ecuador’s Criminal Code still has provisions criminalizing desacato (“lack of respect”), under which anyone who offends a government official may receive a prison sentence up to three months and up to two years for offending the president... journalists face prison sentences and crippling damages for this offense... In a draft decree announced in December 2010, domestic NGOs, including those working on human rights, would have to re-register and submit to continuous government monitoring. The decree would give the government broad powers to dissolve groups for “political activism,”

        Then again, Assange also said that Sweden was a great place where he felt totally safe, right up until the whole rape thing happened, at which point Sweden was suddenly declared a notorious US lackey...

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by robmv (855035)

          Exactly, I was thinking maybe the negotiation was "Ok. we grant you assylum, but you destroy every Ecuador incriminating information you get". I personally do not like much Assange modus operandi (nothing against publishing things with care and not because you care about your personal image), but I will start to respect more Mr. Assange if he dare to publish things about Ecuador even inside the country

        • Then again, Assange also said that Sweden was a great place where he felt totally safe, right up until the whole rape thing happened, at which point Sweden was suddenly declared a notorious US lackey...

          Is that a thinly veiled insinuation that he is mentally deficient? To quote Keynes: "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"

      • by Sir_Sri (199544)

        No, but assassinating him in Ecuador would pose massive regional problems, and would be blatantly illegal (as would kidnapping him, which again, while not that hard, is not legal).

        I'd be more worried about a change in government having a change of mind in Ecuador, and suddenly assange finding himself without a friendly government to protect him.

    • by ackthpt (218170)

      South American non-aligned flexing its muscle.

      At least it's not Venezuela, which would be putting him on parade to rub US noses in it.

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @04:37PM (#40989249)

    A Latin American country is providing safe harbor for a journalist who dared to expose top-secret documents on the military. Someone needs to rework the "In Soviet Russia..." meme for juntas.

    • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @04:41PM (#40989319) Homepage

      Someone needs to rework the "In Soviet Russia..." meme for juntas.

      In Ecuador ... asylum seeks you, senor.

    • by gagol (583737) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @04:44PM (#40989383)
      In Democratic Ecuador the government saves you???
    • by iplayfast (166447)

      Wish I had moderator points. THAT was insightful!

  • You almost had him!

  • As easy as it may be to pull off logistically, it's not nearly as simple politically. Which is why this dog & pony show has gone on so long. If it were as simple as a plane crash or a fuckton of missles or a drone strike, he'd already be dead.

    Of course, Ecuador can expect to be brought before some trumped up UN committee and sanctioned for this soon.
  • And to think... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @04:43PM (#40989369)
    And to think most in the US view South America as some backwards "third world" with no freedom and the US is the freest country in the world.

    Interesting how quickly things change.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Desler (1608317)

      Considering the long history of dictators and military juntas they would be correct. Go to Venezuela and start some demonstrations to speak out against Hugo Chavez and see how much 'freedom' he affords you.

    • Re:And to think... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wierd_w (1375923) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @05:09PM (#40989741)

      America? Free?

      In the US, you are free to:

      Work a drudgy job
      Pay taxes, deducted weekly from your pay, and levied higher if they think you didn't pay enough over the course of the year.
      Pay taxes at the fuel pump
      Pay taxes at the grocery store
      Pay taxes when you buy alcohol or tobacco
      Pay taxes when you somehow manage to buy a luxury item
      Pay taxes on your property anually
      Pay taxes on your vehicle
      Pay levies for public scools
      Be assaulted by police, who illegally confiscate any recording devices you have.
      Speak publicly and exercise your right to assemble and address grievances in authorised "free speech zones"
      Be subjected to brutal beatings if you exercise those rights anywere else
      Be subjected to brutal beatings if you exercise those rights in the designated areas, if the message is controvertial or inconvenient
      Be innundated in outright lies and yellow journalism 24/7 during election years
      Choose which political dick you want up your ass for the next 4, 8, or 10 years (depending on level of govt)
      Buy legal immunity if you are wealthy enough
      Get totally shafted in the legal system if you aren't
      Get enjoined as a spurrious "john doe" in a copyright case with flimsy evidence
      Have your internet unplugged through mere allegations.
      Get presumed guilty until proven innocent in matters involving copyright via the DMCA
      Be arrested for spurrious offences only tangentally related to interstate commerce
      Be detained indefinately without evidence or council if even suspected of engaging in terrorism

      And so much more!

      Just look at all those freedoms! The USA is a GREAT place to live!

  • Political refugee (Score:5, Interesting)

    by roman_mir (125474) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @04:49PM (#40989433) Homepage Journal

    Assange is a political refugee, he needs a hide out because a large and a very powerful organisation (and more than one) are after him for disseminating information that those powerful organisations want to keep quiet.

    If Assange falls in the hands of American government, he is going to be made an example of, and it's going to be worse than Vietnam for him, sort of like what they did to Bradley Manning but maybe times 10.

    Isn't it amazing, 60 years ago people wouldn't have believed if somebody told them, that America could become this....

    • Become what? These are not new tricks, we jsut see more now.
    • by SilenceBE (1439827) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @06:23PM (#40990545)
      Isn't it amazing, 60 years ago people wouldn't have believed if somebody told them, that America could become this....

      I don't think America is that different then sixty years ago. The difference is that in these days of globalization, Americans aren't limited anymore to input from news sources who are strongly biased. It becomes harder to hide the truth about some things.

      If you live in the rest of the world (even western) where you don't have "America #1" or "America the only free country" tagline which for me introduces a lot of ignorance by some Americans, you will rapidly see that America is quite a "normal" country as it has it faults and is certainly not perfect.

      For me as European it even have a lot in common in some aspects with Russia or even China, especially in being raised with certain believes tied to nationalism.
  • False report (Score:5, Informative)

    by bug1 (96678) on Tuesday August 14, 2012 @06:10PM (#40990401)

    Apparently the story from the Guardian is false.

    https://rt.com/news/assange-granted-asylum-ecuador-298/ [rt.com]

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