Assange’s detention shows the disdain of the United States and the UK for international law and human values

We strongly condemn the unjust detention of the founder of Wikileaks at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, we reject his possible extradition to United States, and demand his immediate release and respect for the fundamental rights of the journalist.

People have sought asylum in diplomatic missions for centuries, and States, in turn, have granted some form of protection to persons persecuted for political reasons or who face an imminent threat to their life, liberty, security and / or integrity, not always recognizing diplomatic asylum, but often resorting to diplomatic negotiations. In this sense, in accordance with international law, diplomatic asylum consists of a humanitarian practice, in order to protect the fundamental rights of the person, which has been granted to save lives or prevent damage to fundamental rights in the face of an imminent threat. Although it is the power of each state to grant it, it is widely contemplated under different systems of protection of both international and national rights, that is, those States that have signed multilateral or bilateral agreements on diplomatic asylum, or that have recognized it as a fundamental right in its internal regulations, are bound by the terms established in said regulations, especially if it is also inserted within other frameworks such as the so-called «Latin American tradition of asylum», as is the case of Ecuador. The right of asylum, therefore, belongs to international humanitarian law, and is an inviolable right.

Respect for international law or exceptionalism of the super powers?

The British justice claims to judge Mr. Assange, for a violation of probation dating from 10 years ago, for 3 allegations of alleged sexual harassment in Sweden, but that the Swedish justice finally determined as false and fake causes.

On the other side, the United States, requested extradition trial, citing Assange’s alleged conspiracy with a US intelligence agent, to decrypt the passwords of the State Department, for the theft of classified information, but it could not present conclusive evidence that determine the supposed help, either.

Assange requested asylum from Ecuador to avoid being extradited to the US. The government of Ecuador granted him the asylum and the citizenship, so that he resided in the embassy of Ecuador in London, since the government of the ex- president Correa, considered that Assange was being subject of political persecution by the United States, for reveal truthful information of 92 documents about the war in Afghanistan and executions against civilians in Iraq. Reports that revealed the secret plans of the United States government, in its intelligence, security and war programs (it is worth noting that the Assange portal has exposed, in its 15 years of existence, 10 million documents and, in the information revealed in more than 20 languages, not one false news has been found https://file.wikileaks.org/file).

UN experts repeatedly urged the United Kingdom to act in accordance with its rights obligations and allow Assange to immediately leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London, freely. In attendance, he had been more than six years afraid of being arrested by the British authorities if he left the embassy and his extradition to the United States, so his asylum status ended up being an arbitrary detention. The last request of the UN to the justice of the United Kingdom was made in Geneva, on December 21, 2018, but the government of the United Kingdom, never obeyed it.

We have a few questions:

– Why does a country allow someone, to whom it has extended citizenship and asylum, to be arrested in its embassy? Why Ecuador revokes asylum and nationality, in 24 hours, and few days before the UN rapporteurs on torture and privacy meet with Assange, to investigate violations of rights in the embassy?

– Why does the UK deny Assange access to adequate medical care for seven years? Why does the UK arrest and imprison him by running over his humanitarian rights and allows a court to decide whether to extradite a foreign citizen to a third country?

– Why can the United States extradite a foreign journalist to face criminal charges, when, in addition, it does not even present conclusive evidence, which has been dismissed even by its own courts?

That any foreign journalist, of a foreign organization, can be extradited for having published truthful information is inadmissible and records a dangerous antecedent that threatens the freedom of information. The revocation of asylum and citizenship by Ecuador, the detention of Assange by the United Kingdom and his possible extradition to the United States, constitute a multiple violation of civil, human, humanitarian and constitutional rights, and an exceptionalism that demonstrates the double standard of the superpowers, which claim to defend the human rights but act against them.