Ecuador to Hand Over Assange to US?

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Ecuador to Hand Over Assange to US?

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Earlier reports suggested Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno wants Assange removed from his country’s London embassy – conspiring with Britain to extradite him to America.

In December 2017, he was granted Ecuadorian citizenship, an attempt to resolve the impasse over his presence and status in Britain.

Reportedly, Moreno asked Britain’s Foreign Office to let Assange be accredited as an Ecuadorian diplomat so he could leave the UK freely, the request denied.

In August 2012, former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa granted him asylum in his country’s London embassy.

Leaving assures his arrest by UK authorities and extradition to America. Trump regime hardliners falsely accused him of harming US security.

In 2012, a secret grand jury convened. A sealed indictment followed, allegedly accusing Assange of spying under the long ago outdated 1917 Espionage Act, enacted shortly after America’s entry into WW I – used to wrongfully prosecute, convict and imprison Chelsea Manning.

AG Jeff Sessions, Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, and other Trump regime hardliners prioritize Assange’s arrest for the crime of whistleblowing investigative journalism, a First Amendment right.

WikiLeaks publishes material supplied by sources, unidentified for their protection. Assange and others connected to the organization aren’t intelligence operatives, spies, or connected to Russia or any other countries.

Assange earlier said he and WikiLeaks have the right “to publish newsworthy content. Consistent with the US Constitution, we publish material that we can confirm to be true…”

After months without Internet and telephone access in Ecuador’s London embassy, along with no visitation rights other than legal counsel, Ecuadorian authorities partly lifted its restrictions in mid-October – WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson saying the following:

“It is positive that through UN intervention Ecuador has partly ended the isolation of Mr Assange although it is of grave concern that his freedom to express his opinions is still limited.”

He’s barred from speaking publicly or involvement in the political affairs of other countries. He’ll only have limited use of his computer, tablets, and phone. 

Embassy permission is required for all his activities, severe limitations of his free expression rights imposed.

While “exercising his right of communication and of freedom of expression,” he’s prohibited from activities potentially damaging the relationship of Ecuador with other states.

Visitation permission requires Ecuadorian embassy authorization. Violation of rules may result in terminating his embassy asylum, leaving him vulnerable to imprisonment in America.

On December 1, Ecuador will stop paying for Assange’s food, medical care (available in the embassy alone because leaving it assures arrest), laundry, and most everything else, other than minimal space for him to reside.

His status and safety are shaky at best. Interviewed by RT, former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa “believe(s) (Moreno and Theresa May) are going to turn over Assange to the US government.”

As a citizen, Ecuadorian authorities are obligated to protect his rights. Moreno is “absolutely submitted” to Washington, said Correa, adding:

“They try to humiliate Assange but only humiliate themselves. These rules really go against the human rights. They are trying to isolate Assange and push him to abandon our embassy.”

According to Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Jose Valencia, his government won’t help Assange leave Britain safely – despite the  Inter-American Court of Human Rights earlier ruling that nations are obliged to uphold asylum rights, including the right of safe passage to the country granting it.

Assange’s asylum is gravely threatened. Illegally revoking it or pressuring him out of the embassy assures extradition to America for extrajudicial prosecution, imprisonment, and perhaps torture the way Chelsea Manning was mistreated.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.