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Friday, June 22, 2012

Julian Assange's Status & Free Speech in Los Angeles, CA |


·       Police look on as demonstrators protest outside the Ecuadorian embassy, London, Wednesday June 20, 2012. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange entered the embassy Tuesday in an attempt to gain political asylum. Ecuador said Assange would "remain at the embassy, under the protection of the Ecuadorean government" while authorities in the capital, Quito, considered his case. Assange was arrested in London in December 2010 at Sweden's request. Since then he has been fighting extradition to the Scandinavian country, where he is wanted for questioning over alleged sexual assaults on two women in 2010. Photo: Tim Hales / AP
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Assange, who was speaking to ABC by telephone from inside Ecuador's London embassy, accused Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her government of "slimy rhetoric" over his case.
"I haven't met with anyone from the Australian High Commission since December 2010," he said, claiming that contact with diplomats had been limited to text messages.
Australia's foreign minister Bob Carr said Wednesday that the country could not become involved in Sweden's extradition request, dismissing his claims that the case was directly linked to secret spilling.
"It's not about WikiLeaks, it's not about secrets, it's not about political persecution," Carr said.

Assange's dramatic asylum bid took many of his supporters — and even his lawyers — by surprise. Samuelson said he had not been informed about Assange's plans until the 40-year-old Australian had already entered the embassy.
The lawyer said Assange was camping out "in an office that has been prepared with overnight sleeping facilities."
"I don't get the feeling that they (embassy staff) are in a hurry to get rid of him. He's welcome there," said Samuelson, who met with Assange Wednesday.
Hrafnsson said Assange was "in good spirits" and prepared to wait things out in the embassy. "He will stay until this matter is settled," Hrafnsson said. "I assume that if asylum is not granted, he will leave."
Even if Assange is granted asylum, it is unclear how he could leave the embassy without being arrested by British police. Legal experts say he would forfeit the embassy's protection the moment he steps out of the door.
Assange has exhausted legal appeals against extradition in Britain, but has until June 28 to apply to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.
The left-leaning Correa, who has sought to reduce U.S. influence in Latin America, has praised WikiLeaks for exposing U.S. secrets and offered Assange words of support.
Correa said Wednesday that Assange had made it clear in his letter requesting asylum that "he wants to continue his mission of free expression without limits, to reveal the truth, in a place of peace dedicated to truth and justice."
Some have questioned Ecuador's commitment to freedom of speech. Correa's government has been assailed by human rights and press freedom activists for using Ecuador's criminal libel law in sympathetic courts against journalists, including some from the country's biggest newspaper, El Universo.
Associated Press Writers David Stringer in London and Louise Nordstrom in Stockholm contributed to this report.

B. Why Assange needs Ecuador and Ecuador needs Assange

By Ashley Fantz, CNN
updated 5:41 AM EDT, Thu June 21, 2012
Description: atch this video


·       Trying to get asylum in Ecuador is "a very smart move" for Assange, expert says
·       Ecuador's left leaning president has railed against the U.S, like Assange
·       Rafael Correa recently appeared on Assange television show, and the two appeared to have a rapport
·       If Assange tries to leave England, it could lead to a diplomatic and legal "mess," expert says
(CNN) -- Time was running out for Julian Assange. If the WikiLeaks frontman was going to make a move it would be soon.
Just days before Assange had lost his final bid in Britain's highest court to stop his extradition to Sweden for questioning about sexual assault allegations. The court had set a July 7 deadline.
Though the sexual misconduct case has nothing to do with WikiLeaks, some of his supporters believe that if Assange is sent to Sweden, he would be vulnerable to extradition to the United States. WikiLeaks published a trove of State Department cables and secret documents, some of them classified, about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Assange is not currently facing criminal charges in the U.S.
So where in the world should Assange turn for refuge? He picked Ecuador, which says it will consider his application for asylum.
"It's a very smart move to go there. Ecuador's President Rafael Correa and Assange have mutual interests -- they both support the idea that the U.S. is an imperial power that has to be checked," said Robert Amsterdam, a Canadian international lawyer who's worked high profile cases involving Latin America, Russia and Thailand. He said the information contained in the cables WikiLeaks released has helped in some of his cases.
Correa, a left-leaning economist, has railed against the United States in concert with allies in the region and elsewhere -- Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Bolvia's Evo Morales, Cuba's Fidel Castro and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
As far as angering the Brits, Correa has shown he doesn't mind doing that. In February, Correa called for sanctions against Britainfor its long-running dispute with Argentina over who owns the Falkland Islands.
From a Latin perspective, what a glorious thing to get Assange
Robert Amsterdam, an international attorney
who has tried cases involving Latin America on Assange's Ecuador asylum bid

"From a Latin perspective, what a glorious thing to get Assange," Amsterdam said. "You don't have to be even anti-American to want to do that. When I'm in Guatemala, they still call the (U.S.) 'the empire.' There really is an almost universal hostility toward American foreign policy. Assange would be welcomed in many countries just for that fact."

Jorge Leon, an Ecuadorian political analyst who lives in Quito, said that with presidential elections in Ecuador scheduled for next February giving Assange asylum in the country could be "useful to Correa to give himself a leftist image."
"A lot of his base is leftist," said Leon. "He has to feed that base."
Correa and Assange
Description: WikiLeaks revealed
Ecuadorian president Correa recently appeared on Assange's new television show, "The World Tomorrow," which began broadcasting in April on R-TV, Russia's state-funded English language channel.
Assange introduced his guest by calling Correa "a transformative leader," and pointed out that Correa expelled the U.S. ambassador after reports that a WikiLeaks State Department cable showed that the American ambassador was concerned about an allegedly corrupt high ranking police official. The cable, published by Spanish newspaper El Pais, said Correa was aware of corruption by the police high command.
The website of Assange's TV show described it differently, saying the cable showed the U.S. "embassy exercising influence over members of the Ecuadorian police force."
"Your WikiLeaks has made us stronger!" Correa told Assange.
Assange and Correa seemed to have a rapport, praising each other and at times laughing like old friends who shared inside jokes.
Assange began the interview by asking Correa what he thinks of the United States.
Correa answered by accusing the U.S. of meddling in Ecuador's police force, yet then said the countries have a relationship based on "affection and friendship."
Correa went on to say he lived in the U.S. for four years and got two academic degrees in the U.S.
"I love and admire the American people a great deal," he said. "The last thing I'd be is anti-American, but I will always call a spade a spade."
Later in the interview, Correa laughs about his decision not to renew the U.S. Southern Command's lease of Eloy Alfaro Air Base in Manta, which ended U.S. occupancy of the base in 2009.
Correa sarcastically suggested that he should be able to keep a base in Miami.
"I'm enjoying your jokes a great deal," Assange told the Ecuadorian president.
A press freedom fighter in Ecuador?
"That interview was just Assange asking Correa a bunch of softball questions," said Adam Isacson of the Regional Security Policy Program of human rights group Washington Office on Latin America.
Isacson and other experts point out that Correa loves disclosures when it suits him, but he has one of the worst reputations in Latin America for cracking down on journalists. Correa has filed defamation complaints against journalists who criticized him, forced independent radio and television stations to air lengthy rebuttals of critical reports, pre-empted programming and temporarily shut some stations down, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
In a June 9 radio address, Correa asked government ministers tostop granting interviews to private media because those outlets are "corrupt."
Wouldn't that bother Assange, a self-professed pillar of the free press? Well, experts say, Assange's show is broadcast by a network financed by the Kremlin and Russia isn't known for its press freedoms.
Standing up for freedom of the press may seem less important to Assange than saving himself right now, said Amsterdam.
"If he winds up getting extradited to the U.S. many people believe he'd never see the light of day again," the attorney said.
"Assange is in a very dangerous place," Amsterdam said.
But he said he feels the information disclosed by the WikiLeaks releases has "been incredible. It's so important."
A legal and diplomatic 'mess'
If Assange thought he was in trouble by staying in Britain, he could be in even more trouble if he tries to leave, said international human rights attorney Jared Genser.
Genser is best known for helping to free Burmese Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
"The big challenge would be getting Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to Ecuador. It would be very difficult," Genser said. "He could end up spending years living in the embassy as the Brits aren't likely to look too kindly on this stunt and the Ecuadorians might provide him protection in their mission.
"But it would be much more difficult to get him out and to a private plane to transit to Ecuador."
Assange is subject to arrest by British authorities for violating a bail requirement that he spend every night at the home outside London, police said Wednesday. In a written statement, London Metropolitan police said Wednesday that they were notified Assange may have breached one of the conditions of his bail.
If Assange shows up in Ecuador there could be criminal repercussions and diplomatic repercussions.
"If a fugitive were to show up in Ecuador after escaping from British territory and be protected by the Ecuador authorities, it would be a diplomatic mess," Isacson said.
"If Assange arrives in Ecuador, the first thing the Brits would probably do is remove their ambassador from Ecuador," he said.
It would also mean American officials, experts said, would inevitably have to start talking about Assange again, two years after the WikiLeaker first became a thorn in their side by releasing his first batch of secret U.S. documents.

C.  "Scotland Yard gave the order to arrest Julian Assange"

20/06/12.- WikiLeaks founder sought political asylum to Ecuador and is found in its embassy in London yesterday. 
Police have deployed several outside agents.
The Metropolitan Police has been ordered to arrest for violating Assange, from his point of view, house arrest is subject since December 2010. WikiLeaks founder sought political asylum to Ecuador and is found in its embassy in London yesterday waiting for the government of Rafael Correa decided to do.
Since last night, a small group of Scotland Yard officers are deployed at the gate of the embassy, ​​where they can access when dealing with diplomatic territory. "He has broken a condition of his bail, which was to be in the direction of the bond between 10pm and 8am each day. You can be arrested under the Bail Act, "said a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police.
According to Reuters, several supporters of the founder of Wikileaks has also concentrated at the entrance with a banner that reads "Free Assange".
The Government of Ecuador made clear yesterday that Assange would remain under his protection until they decide whether or not condecerle asylum. The British Foreign Ministry requested a statement last night that "Ecuador resolve this issue as soon as possible."
Assange made this decision five days after the British High Court rejected the appeal against the judgment of lawyers giving free rein to his extradition to Sweden.
The Swedish authorities accuse him of two alleged cases of sexual abuse. Assange has always denied the charges and claimed asylum last Correa letter appealing to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to the possibility that the U.S. claims his move to Washington to be tried by the revelations of WikiLeaks.
Speaking to Reuters last night, the lawyer for the two alleged victims, Claes Borgstrom, said "his asylum claim has no substance. He wants to concentrate everything in WikiLeaks, the CIA and others, but that will not change your situation. Be extradited. "
Despite the decision of the Supreme, Assange still had the possibility of his extradition to the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. 
Australia and its position Assange
The Australian also claimed in his letter that Australia has given back to ignore the case even though he could face extradition to countries where the death penalty law, referring to the U.S..
Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, yesterday denied this and said from the G20 summit in Mexico that "our consular officers will contact him and the Embassy of Ecuador in London, but their decisions can only take him" .
In fact, Assange has reason to be concerned about how Australia would act in the case of the U.S. requested his extradition and try to judge him for espionage. On May 2 one of the lawyers of the founder of Wikileaks, Jennifer Robinson, met with the Australian Attorney-General Nicola Roxon to discuss the case. In a subsequent letter (PDF-English) Hoxon Robinson explains the following:
"As you know, Australia does not fit right into any discussion of extradition can take place between the U.S. and the United Kingdom and the United Kingdom and Sweden, as extradition is a tool for bilateral cooperation in legal matters. The decision of a foreign State or guarantee about making an extradition request is a sovereign act is carried out in accordance with domestic laws and procedures of that State [...] If Mr. Assange were to face trial in the U.S., will be treated with justice involving the U.S. Constitution and U.S. laws. "

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