Friday, August 17, 2012

Screws Tighten on Assange

The screws tighten on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as he remains holed up (for 8 weeks now and counting) in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, United Kingdom. Despite, the Ecuadorian government granting Assange political asylum, the British government led by conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, is denying Assange safe passage out of the United Kingdom. The British government has strong ties with the United States and Swedish governments, and therefore, the British government is likely more interested in cultivating favor from these governments than respecting the political asylum request of Ecuador. (Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden for a sexual misconduct complaint, and if he is extradited to Sweden he would likely be extradited to the United States to face charges over releasing U.S. government classified documents. Based on the treatment of U.S. corporal Bradley Manning (who apparently supplied documents to WikiLeaks), Assange could face torture in the United States, and possibly the death penalty.) Manning has spent over a year in solitary confinement and may face the death penalty for aiding the "enemy". Manning may face the death penalty

It is unclear how Assange can get safe passage out of the United Kingdom. Public pressure could force the British government to allow him safe passage, but that may be prevented if the British government uses force to enter the Ecuadorian embassy. However, this forced entry would set a precedence of forced entry into British embassies. Interestingly, the British government exaggerates the reason why the Swedish authorities want to question Assange regarding sexual misconduct allegations. The British government claims that serious sexual assault may have taken place, (rather than minor sexual misconduct), thereby revealing their bias against Assange.



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