Outrage As UK Refuse Safe Passage For Julian Assange
The 41 year old Wikileaks founder has been granted political asylum by the Latino-American country after agreeing that extradition could mean Assange’s human rights would be violated.
After the announcement, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague confirmed that the UK will not allow Assange to leave the country and that they are obligated to arrest the controversial editor-in-chief if he steps foot outside of the Ecuador Embassy. The Foreign Secretary also attempted to cool the simmering International situation by confirming that UK police fores would not be entering the embassy.
The Ecuador government decided that Assange had valid reasons to be worried about being deported to Sweden and then subsequently extradited to the United States of America, where he could face the death penalty and execution. It is believed that on these grounds, the Ecuador government believe that there is a high probability to Assange’s human rights being violated.
Sweden, who have issued an arrest warrant for the Wikileaks founder in relation to sexual assault charges, have said that they are disappointed by the lack of confidence that Ecuador have in the Swedish judicial system, however Swedish authorities once again reiterated that they could not guarantee that Assange wouldn’t be extradited to the United States if he was in Swedish custody.
A stand off has now been created with Assange remaining safe in the Ecuadorian embassy but not being able to leave the embassy to flee to Ecuador. Tensions are simmering both on the streets and internationally around the actions of the UK in relation to Assange.
A number of arrests were made by police officers outside the Ecuadorian embassy today after peaceful protests turned into scuffles.
The UK’s actions in respect to Assange are coming under close scrutiny with dissenting opinion being voiced from many different people, organisations and governments.
Concerns have been raised that British Embassies round the world could come under threat based on actions which are perceived by many to contradict long standing traditions with regards to diplomats and embassies. Some dissenters have stated that the British government would not tolerate a similar situation by a host country refusing to allow someone who had been granted political asylum by the United Kingdom to leave the host country.
The eyes of the world are once again watching the United Kingdom and its government to see what action it takes next. Government officials will no doubt be considering their next moves very carefully, with the full understanding that a ill thought judgement could create a huge International incident.