Arrest of Assange provokes condemnation of UK and Ecuador

Wikileaks founder arrested this morning in breach of international law as Ecuador withdrew asylum
Julian Assange being dragged from the Ecuadorian embassy in London this morning

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been dragged from the Ecuadorian embassy this morning by police, after the Ecuador government withdrew his asylum. Assange had spent seven years confined to the Embassy.

The Home Office ordered his arrest on a 2012 warrant, even though the Swedish government had withdrawn charges on which it wanted to extradite him. Assange has always claimed that the US wanted to extradite him to charge him over the leak of US information by Wikileaks – and incorrectly edited court documents for a different case suggested the US has prepared charges against him in secret.

Assange had become an Ecuadorian citizen, making that government’s actions a breach of its own laws in handing him over to a foreign state.

Internationally-renowned journalist John Pilger was one of many scathing in his condemnation:

SKWAWKBOX comment:

Regardless of the final outcome and background of this case, this morning’s action has shamed the UK and Ecuadorian governments.

In all seriousness, by tonight the media will somehow have made this all Jeremy Corbyn’s fault.

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24 responses to “Arrest of Assange provokes condemnation of UK and Ecuador

    • Absolutely the UK is nothing more than the lapdog of the USA , effing disgraceful and with the bastard Tories in power no chance of any justice for Assange .
      Sweden won’t even come into the equation,, just window dressing of an excuse , merely an enabler for the extradition to the USA , where he will no doubt disappear . Poor sod and he’s done so much bringing into the daylight of the utter shit our Govts do .
      Christ I hope he’s got a huge cash of dirt to dump on the UK /USA if/when he’s screwed by them

  1. How will the government respond? Will they try to lean on the justice system? I hope our justice system stays independent and Julian is treated fairly!!!

  2. no UK now well on its way to be a neofascist state. Democracy and international laws and human rights goodbye.

  3. Correction: You write that the “Swedish government had withdrawn charges on which it wanted to extradite him.”

    My understanding is that no charges of any kind have been made against Assange by Sweden or in Sweden. Wikileaks has made this point a thousand times but the media just ignores it.

    What happened was that the right wing Swedish tabloid rag Expressen announced the ALLEGATIONS against Assange in banner headlines and there was then a trial by media in the Anglo-American warmongering media in which Assange was assumed to be guilty until proven innocent.

    It is very important for the left press to get this right.

  4. I guess this makes Lenín Moreno one of the world’s most hated politician. It may be ok now Lenín but wait a few years when the USA has abandoned you and your chances are fishbait

  5. The key issue in the Assange case is trial by media in which due process was denied and his right to presumption of innocence was negated.

    There was, and is, a massive media witch hunt against Assange primarily because he is an anti-war activist and specifically because Wikileaks published Chelsea Mannings’ Iraq War logs and the Collateral Murder video.

    • “trial by media”, “witch hunt”. Where have we heard all this before?

      The profoundly depressing reality is that when the international capitalist establishment identify you as an opponent or critic of their rule, or even someone who endangers what they consider their unconditional right of expropriation, they cause the MSM, governments, academia, etc, to fall upon you like vicious attack-dogs. The military is, of course, their last resort.

      Progressive people everywhere must defend the right of Assange, and other journalists to expose the dirty deeds of the powerful without let or hindrance. We need more, not fewer, journalists with the guts and principle of Assange. “Guardian” hacks please note!

      What a sad day for democracy!

  6. A couple of things: 1) Swedish authorities have only ever wanted to question Assange in relation to the allegations. 2) As signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights, we can’t deport someone to a country where they might face execution, so the US would have to give some cast iron legal assurances that Assange wouldn’t be given the death penalty before the UK could send him there.

    • Jim forgive my cynicism point 2 lol ,,, under Trump MAGA can do what it effing well likes , his sentence is already determined , either death or 99999 yrs , makes no difference , USA , water boarding torturing state , really don’t give a xxxx about anything other than MAGA .

    • Why would he be deported to Sweden there are no charges or inquiries ongoing in Sweden.

      • Not strictly true. The investigation was suspended by the Swedish authorities because they couldn’t interview Assange. They re-opened the investigation at the request of the complainant’s lawyer yesterday. There are no charges because Swedish law doesn’t see charges laid until a case goes to trial.

        The extradition request is so that he can be questioned, avoidance of which was the reason he holed up in the embassy in the first place.

        There’s a statute of limitations on the potential charges against him in Sweden that means if he’s going to be charged, it has to be this year.

  7. A warning to journalists? A warning to anyone who believes in freedom of speech & the need for sunlight to act as a natural disinfectant in any political system.

  8. The following is from a 2015 article by John Pilger which details the whole saga:

    Neither woman claimed she had been raped. Indeed, both have denied they were raped and one of them has since tweeted, “I have not been raped.” That they were manipulated by police and their wishes ignored is evident – whatever their lawyers might say now. Certainly, they are victims of a saga which blights the reputation of Sweden itself.

    For Assange, his only trial has been trial by media. On August 20, 2010, the Swedish police opened a “rape investigation” and immediately – and unlawfully – told the Stockholm tabloids that there was a warrant for Assange’s arrest for the “rape of two women”. This was the news that went round the world.

    In Washington, a smiling US Defence Secretary Robert Gates told reporters that the arrest “sounds like good news to me”. Twitter accounts associated with the Pentagon described Assange as a “rapist” and a “fugitive”.

    Less than 24 hours later, the Stockholm Chief Prosecutor, Eva Finne, took over the investigation. She wasted no time in cancelling the arrest warrant, saying, “I don’t believe there is any reason to suspect that he has committed rape.” Four days later, she dismissed the rape investigation altogether, saying, “There is no suspicion of any crime whatsoever.” The file was closed.

    http://johnpilger.com/articles/assange-the-untold-story-of-an-epic-struggle-for-justice

  9. I don’t recall having ever read any details – ie explanation – of how Julian came to meet the two women when he was in Sweden and how they ended up having a ‘sexual encouter’, for want of a better way of putting it. Was Julian in fact set up from the outset. In his article John Pilger says the following:

    On a point of law, the Swedish Supreme Court has decided Ny [the Swedish prosecutor] can continue to obstruct on the vital issue of the SMS messages. This will now go to the European Court of Human Rights. What Ny fears is that the SMS messages will destroy her case against Assange. One of the messages makes clear that one of the women did not want any charges brought against Assange, “but the police were keen on getting a hold on him”. She was “shocked” when they arrested him because she only “wanted him to take [an HIV] test”. She “did not want to accuse JA of anything” and “it was the police who made up the charges”. (In a witness statement, she is quoted as saying that she had been “railroaded by police and others around her”.)

    Neither woman claimed she had been raped. Indeed, both have denied they were raped and one of them has since tweeted, “I have not been raped.” That they were manipulated by police and their wishes ignored is evident – whatever their lawyers might say now. Certainly, they are victims of a saga which blights the reputation of Sweden itself.

    (Ends)

    So regarding the SMS messages, one of them ‘makes clear that one of the women did not want any charges brought against Assange’, and that she was shocked when they arrested him because she only “wanted him to take [an HIV] test”.

    I really can’t get my head round this, the point being that if neither woman claimed she had been raped, then how on Earth did the police enter into it? And if all it amounted to is that one of the two women wanted Julian to take an HIV test, then why on Earth would THAT neccessitate involving the police, and surely she would just ask Julian himself if he would mind doing a test so as to put her mind at rest. It just doesn’t make sense.

    And the very idea that a guy could somehow rape two women is just totally preposterous, unless he was holding a gun on them, and EVERYONE involved in the case – the Swedish prosecutor and the authorities both there and in the UK – knows that Julian WASN’T of course. So the leading question in all this is: How was it that the police ever came to be involved, because it doesn’t add up that there was any reason whatsoever for them to be.

    Unless it was all a set up, that is.

  10. Well done to Jeremy Corbyn for his unequivocal statement that Assange should not be extradited to the USA.

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