It must have come as a surprise to the Egyptian teenagers who washed American teargas out of their eyes (during the Arab Spring) to hear that the U.S. supported change in the Middle East. It’s time for President Obama to keep his word … and for the U.S. to cease its persecution of WikiLeaks.Julian Assange • In a video feed, aired at the United Nations on Wednesday, mocking Obama’s UN speech, which encouraged free speech in the Middle East. His point? Wikileaks certainly didn’t get a free-speech pass from the U.S. government; in fact, he says Obama has “done more to criminalize free speech than any other U.S. president.” Ouch.
I think the situation will be solved through diplomacy … The Swedish government could drop the case. I think this is the most likely scenario. Maybe after a thorough investigation of what happened they could drop the case.Wikileaks founder Julian Assange • Speaking about his situation in the Ecuadorian embassy, where he’s been granted asylum but effectively can’t leave. He thinks that it’ll eventually work itself out, but he’ll probably be stuck in the embassy for as long as six months to a year.
I don’t want to judge allegations that have not been proven and would not, in any case, be considered a felony in Latin American, too. It has never been the intention of the Ecuadorean government for Julian Assange not to respond to those allegations.Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa • Agreeing with many critics of Ecuador, following the country’s decision to grant political asylum to Julian Assange, that the Wikileaks founder should face the allegations of rape which have been leveled against him. While Correa agrees that Assange should not flee from authorities, he also restated his belief that Ecuador’s diplomatic sovereignty should continue to be respected the United Kingdom and other countries. Some inside of Ecuador have accused Correa of grandstanding, by offering asylum to a known whistleblower in an effort to deflect criticism he faces for closing several radio and television networks across Ecuador, ahead of presidential elections this fall. source (via • follow)
It might be really sordid and bad sexual etiquette, but whatever else it is, it is not rape or you bankrupt the term rape of all meaning.George Galloway, Respect Member of Parliament for Bradford West • During a video blog expressing his support for Julian Assange following widespread anger over the Wikileaks founder’s decision to seek political asylum in Ecuador. Galloway’s comments have been widely condemned by fellow British politicians, including Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament Jo Swinson, who told reporters that she couldn’t believe an MP would “be so grossly irresponsible as to suggest that sex without consent is anything other than rape.” source (via • follow)
I ask President Obama to do the right thing. The United States must renounce its witch hunt against Wikileaks. The United States must dissolve its FBI investigation. The United States must vow that it will not seek to prosecute our staff or our supporters.Wikileaks founder Julian Assange • Speaking from a written statement in his first public appearance since entering the Ecuadorian embassy in London two months ago. Assange feels that his extradition to Sweden on sex crimes allegations is a preface to send him to the United States — an allegation Swedish officials deny. Ecuador recently granted Assange asylum, but it’s unlikely he will be able to leave the United Kingdom without facing arrest.
The problem is that they aren’t going to give safe passage. Julian Assange could stay indefinitely in our embassy.Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa • Revealing that Julian Assange better get comfortable at his new home, the Ecuadorian embassy in London — because he’ll most likely be staying there for the time being. Correa granted Assange asylum earlier this week, but the UK government won’t let him leave the country — and in fact has made claims that they can simply remove Assange from the embassy, despite the fact that the embassy is technically on Ecuadorian land.
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You should be aware that there is a legal basis in the U.K. — the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act — which would allow us to take action to arrest Mr. Assange in the current premises of the embassy. We very much hope not to get this point, but if you cannot resolve the issue of Mr. Assange’s presence on your premises, this route is open to us.The British Foreign Office • Noting that they have the legal right to storm the Ecuadorian embassy to arrest Wikileaks leader Julian Assange, but they don’t want it to reach that level. Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa will announce his decision to offer asylum to Assange soon.
Outside Assange: This looks to be a live feed from outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, in which Julian Assange is currently holed up. Police have been coming in and out of the building in which the embassy is located, and a van described as having diplomatic plates just pulled away from the scene. This appears to be a legitimate live stream, courtesy of an friendly-sounding citizen journalist named alburyj, who counts himself a fan of Assange. source
If the measure announced in the British official communication is enacted, it will be interpreted by Ecuador as an unacceptable, unfriendly and hostile act and as an attempt against our sovereignty. It would force us to respond. We are not a British colony.Ricardo Patino, Foreign Minister of Ecuador • In a televised statement, confirming reports that UK officials have threatened to storm the Ecuadorian embassy in London to arrest Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. A UK Foreign Office spokesman did not confirm or deny the allegations, instead choosing to reiterate the UK’s legal obligation to extradite Mr. Assange. “Throughout this process we have drawn the Ecuadorians’ attention to relevant provisions of our law… [including] the legal status of diplomatic premises in the UK,” said the spokesman, adding, “We are still committed to reaching a mutually acceptable solution.” source (via • follow)