The British have officially gone insane. Period. (Assange being arrested)

Reports crossing the wire that the UK government has revoked the diplomatic status of the Ecuadorian embassy and that police have gone in to arrest Julian Assange.

Guess international law doesn’t mean much to these folk, huh?

If this is true, it’s a horrible thing for the British to do. As was emphasized endlessly during the Iranian hostage crisis back in 1979-1981, failing to respect the integrity of an embassy is a violation of international law.

Crazy time.

Have to wonder if this will prompt the same kind of article from the beeb explaining that it’s a fundamental prerequisite of diplomatic relations blablabla. I guess he should have picked somewhere more respectful of international law to annoy, like china, zimbabwe, soviet occupied hungary…

One, unconfirmed report that this “threat” has been issued.
Two, nothing has actually happened so far.
Three, the UK has a clear case here, since Assange is a fugitive from justice - if he had done this BEFORE the end of the UK legal proceedings he would have a far, far stronger case.

The implications of people being able to use embassies to escape criminal justice…well, let’s just say that some smaller countries are not exactly unbribeable. There’s absolutely no good way out of this for anyone at this point.

(edit: To be clear I have very little sympathy for Assange, and thought he was damaging the work Wikileaks has done with his egotism even before this entire issue started. He should answer the charges in Sweden)

No sympathy for Assange here so good riddance.

This is the wikileak’s fellow fleeing rape charges from Sweeden, right?

No charges have been files, iirc.

I´ve no particular simpathy for Assange but:

  1. Ecuador diplomats confirm receiving this threat.
  2. Police are actually on the very steps of the Ecuador embassy, and police is surrounding the building.
  3. Clear case because? Assange, far as I know, has NOT been formally charged in Sweden.

“Some smaller countries aren´t exactly umbribable” hahaha. Yeah. Because US and UK politicians and systems aren´t gamed at all and all the time…

Edit: really don´t want to seem to be defending Assange, but that bit about the smaller countries just ticks me the wrong way. I will readily confess however not to be an expert on his situation, as I haven´t followed it with attention.

Haha of course, how could anyone possibly doubt the UK’s incorruptible respect for the spirit and letter of the law after this episode. At the behest of absolutely nobody at all they will not rest until a guy who faces extradition via an EAW for questioning is dealt with and will go to any lengths including

Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said Britain had earlier in the day issued “a written threat it could assault our embassy” if Assange is not handed over.

to make sure that this heinous maybe crime is dealt with appropriately and in the most normal and ordinary way imaginable.

One issued at 2am? I’m…dubious. I freely admit I could very well be wrong on this, but…I do think it’s a little odd.

  1. Police are actually on the very steps of the Ecuador embassy, and police is surrounding the building.

That’s been true ever since he fled there.

  1. Clear case because? Assange, far as I know, has NOT been formally charged in Sweden.

No, but you don’t need to be charged to be extradited under many, most, extradition treaties. There just needs to be evidence shown that the charge is valid, and he’s failed to win his case at every step in the UK.

There are four* charges, as I recall (all centering around two women). An arrest warrant was issued, and Sweden has been seeking the extradition. Of course, I can’t speak to the charges’ legitimacy, but that’s what a trial is supposed to be about.

*edit - according to wikipedia

No breaking news as of yet, but the intent from the british authorities is clear: (from the bbc article)
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"The Foreign Office note to Ecuador stated: “We very much hope not to get this point [revoking diplomatic status], but if you cannot resolve the issue of Mr Assange’s presence on your premises, this route is open to us.”
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It also said that it must meet its legal obligations to arrest Mr Assange and extradite him to Sweden.
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The note went on: “We remain committed to working with you amicably to resolve this matter. But we must be absolutely clear this means that should we receive a request for safe passage for Mr Assange, after granting asylum, this would be refused, in line with our legal obligations.”
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They seem very, very keen to get him.

Ecuador gives assylum to Julian Assange. :b: breaking news!

My favourite possible scenario is that it wasn’t so much about the legitimacy of his asylum request or the dick waving of the embassy siege threats that forced their hand. Rather they made a little trap and tested whether they were being tapped/spied on by appearing to make the decision among ‘friends’ and then based their real decision on what the response to that might be.

ed - oh look who else brings up the Chen Guangchen comparison.

I hope to have more information soon on the threats used by the US administration. William Hague had been supporting the move against the concerted advice of his own officials; Ken Clarke has been opposing the move against the advice of his. I gather the decision to act has been taken in Number 10.

There appears to have been no input of any kind from the Liberal Democrats. That opens a wider question – there appears to be no “liberal” impact now in any question of coalition policy. It is amazing how government salaries and privileges and ministerial limousines are worth far more than any belief to these people. I cannot now conceive how I was a member of that party for over thirty years, deluded into a genuine belief that they had principles.

Oh craig, you annoying principled person who believes in anything. Come and join the party where we make threats against the concept of embassies willy-nilly because we feel like it.

Chen Guangchen isn’t really comparable.

He isn’t a criminal (the house arrest was administrative), whereas Assange at the time he entered the Embassy has already exhausted his appeals. This does make a big difference in international law. (Also, he’s now basically been booted out of China, which suits everyone)

Dan - It remains very very possible that he’d be questioned and NOT charged. This really is an extraordinary episode of resistance to a standard EAW, and it pisses on any concept of civil resistance by Assange. Instead of Wikileak’s releases being discussed, what’s discussed is…Assange. Honestly, if I were an American prosecutor I’d be MORE than happy to have the man sat in that embassy for years, keeping pretty much anything else wikileaks does under the radar!

So yea…I’d say that was the British goal (ending real negotiations). Cameron is a lap-dog.

No sympathy for a man who has sex with two women in three nights, is accused of sexual offences and refuses to return for questioning. The politics is just dressing and irrelevant for the purpose of an extradition because I doubt any conspiracy theory can be proven at this stage of the inquiry.

There was an interesting bit in the original BBC story (can’t find it now) with Ecuador saying: we are granting asylum because we couldn’t get Britain, Sweden, or the U.S. to say that he won’'t be extradited from Sweden to the U.S.

Assange has serious problems and I’m not saying they should be ignored, but this statement is nonetheless true:

Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño said Thursday there is credible fear that if Assange is sent to Sweden, he could be subsequently be extradited to the United States, where he could be charged with espionage and treason.

In the United States, there are no guarantees that Assange would receive a fair trial or that he wouldn’t be subject to a military or secret tribunal, Patiño added.

The whole world is waking up to the fact that US “justice” is being dispensed behind closed doors more and more frequently (or, worse yet, by missiles fired from aptly named Predator drones). It’s cringeworthy that we’re being chastised by other nations for our civil rights abuses and that they’re correct to do so.

I don’t think it is for Ecuador to demand this. That basically subjects any extradition treaty to the desires of non-treaty parties.