WikiLeaks' Assange in Ecuador embassy London: Seeks political asylum

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NDPP

Assange Rejects Police Request to Surrender (and vid)

http://www.rt.com/news/assange-police-letter-extradition-987/

"WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange rejects the British police's request to hand himself in and will remain in the Ecuadorean embassy and continue his appeal for asylum.."

NDPP

'No Disrespect': Assange to Remain at Ecuadorian Embassy (and vid)

http://www.rt.com/news/assange-statement-ecuador-wikileaks-085/

"...Should Assange be extradited to Sweden, Ray McGovern continued, it will not be long before he is sent to the United States to face the same kind of treatment that Bradley Manning was subjected to..." Interviews with lawyer Susan Benn and Ray McGovern

www.justice4assange.com

NDPP

US May Put Assange to Death if it Gets Him - Former Senior NSA Official (and vid)

http://www.rt.com/news/america-surveillance-society-drake-697/

"If America gets its hands on the WikiLeaks founder, they may go as far as execute him, a known National Security Agency Whistleblower Thomas Andrews Drake told RT, adding that in the US security has become a state religion.."

Caissa

The government of Ecuador says it will grant asylum to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.

Ricardo Patino, the foreign minister of Ecuador, made the announcement Thursday in Quito.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012/08/16/julian-assange-ecuador-uk.html

NDPP

Assange Will Be Refused Safe Passage Even If Ecuador Grants Asylum - Foreign Office (and vid)

http://rt.com/news/assange-ecuador-uk-passage-823/

"UK authorities sparked a scandal when they announced they were prepared to raid the Ecuadorian embassy in London in order to apprehend Assange, effectively revoking the embassy's diplomatic immunity. 'We want to be very clear, we're not a British colony. The colonial times are over,' Ecuadorian minister Ricardo Patino said following a meeting with President Rafael Correa.."

 

Ecuador Grants Asylum; Live Updates

http://rt.com/news/ecuador-decides-assange-fate-813/

see commentary 'America's Vassal' by Craig Murray

 

Congratulations to Ecuador, President Correa and the Ecuadorian People for standing tall for human rights and Press Freedom!

[email protected]

Shame on UK 'vassal state' threats!

[email protected]

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

On CBC: Sweden calls on the Ecuador ambassador to protest granting asylum to Assange.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I clicked on the NatPost article because of the headline - and found these  comments below the story:

story excerpt:

“I think the Foreign Office have slightly overreached themselves here,” Britain’s former ambassador to Moscow, Tony Brenton, told the BBC.

“If we live in a world where governments can arbitrarily revoke immunity and go into embassies then the life of our diplomats and their ability to conduct normal business in places like Moscow where I was and North Korea becomes close to impossible.”

Comments:

So, the Brits are ready to provoke an international incident over a man who is wanted for questioning regarding possible rapes in another country. Seems a bit extreme.

If the Brits go to that extreme it's because the USA is putting a lot of pressure on them and is an indication that the rape charges out of Sweden are bogus.

and this:

Brits are insane - they could not storm the foreign embassy regardless any circumstances!!! If they do it in London I can only imagine what's gonna happen in the 3rd world countries afterwards.

and:

Why attacking an Embassy is a horrible idea:

"...Embassies enable very important diplomatic functions--to facilitate communication between host and foreign countries--and yet are frequently vulnerable to attacks. Foreign countries whose embassies are violated may decide to retaliate, for embassies are considered "sacred," an extension of state sovereignty, and their integrity should not be violated.

Not surprisingly, the recent sacking of the British embassy led to one of the very few occasions when both the Russians and the Chinese agree with the United States and the European Union on Iran: all of them gave statements supportive to the British, providing a diplomatic nightmare for Iran.

The Chinese and Russians may not agree with the crux of British policy-- they fought tooth and nail against toughening sanctions on Iran. Still, they didn't miss a moment to declare their displeasure over the sacking -- they were completely aware that what happened to the British may also be dished at them if things spiral further out of control..."

http://centerforworldconflictandpeace.blogspot.ca/2011/12/why-attacking-embassy-is-horrible-idea.html

contrarianna

From the letter delivered by a British official:

Quote:

    "You need to be aware that there is a legal base in the UK, the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987, that would allow us to take actions in order to arrest Mr Assange in the current premises of the embassy. We sincerely hope that we do not reach that point, but if you are not capable of resolving this matter of Mr Assange's presence in your premises, this is an open option for us."

Is there anyone in their right mind who believes that the UK government would make such an unprecedented threat if this were just about an ordinary foreign citizen wanted for questioning – not criminal charges or a trial – by a foreign government?...

[bolding mine]

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/16/julian-assange-asylu...

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

If the Brits do this, it will be open season on embassies worldwide. Idiots.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

I hope Assange goes to Ecuador and stays there the rest of his life. He'd look great in one of those hats they like to wear down there.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

I hope Assange goes to Ecuador and stays there the rest of his life. He'd look great in one of those hats they like to wear down there.

6079_Smith_W

Good point on As It Happens tonight - that Sweden has in the past sent court officials all the way to the Balkans to interview suspects, but they have yet to accept an offer to interview Assange in the Ecuadorean embassy.

According to the same report, Britain passed the law giving themselves power to override diplomatic sovreignty of embassies after the police officer was shot some years back, by someone in the Libyan embassy.

Saying they have the power to invade the embassy is one thing. It remains to be seen if they will in fact DO it. It is a hell of a lot of political capital to spend, even for their good buddies. It is enough of a black eye that someone has to ask for asylum in their country.

 

Fidel

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

 

I would be totally good with Assange not coming to the USA...

Uncle Sam has knowingly welcomed with open arms everyone from Nazi war criminals to 15 alleged 9/11 hijackers from Saudi Arabia into the country. I'm thinking Assange would be on the plus side of things as opposed to the usual scum of the earth, yes?

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

No.

contrarianna

Bec is correct. In the Land of the Free it is those who blow the whistle on state murder and torture who are to be vilified and persecuted, not those who commit the crimes.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

Well that's your story, feel free to tell it as you like: I could give a shit where he goes and just don't want him over here in my country; no doubt we've wasted enough money on him already.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Where's your country, Bec? If it's the USA, I don't want him there either.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

Yes, I reside in the USA...

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

What's it like being in the heart of the beast?  Smile

Jacob Two-Two

Geez, Corbin. Your blind spot over this is huge. It is absurdly obvious how suspicious all this is. Give your head a shake. Nobody would threaten to tear down the very sanctity of international diplomacy just to question somebody, especially when they've already refused to question him many times. To simply accept the official version of events here when they clearly don't make a bit of sense is making you sound like something of a lunatic.

And where does this notion come from that the power brokers of the US have no option but to helplessly stand around frustrated while they are forced to follow the rule of law to the letter? Have you been watching some parallel universe, because the one I've been observing is full of people in the upper tiers of the US political system who routinely ignore whatever laws don't suit them. Do I have to insult your intelligence by giving you examples that we are both perfectly aware of?

http://markcrispinmiller.com/2011/02/eight-big-problems-with-the-case-against-assange-must-read-by-naomi-wolf/

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Assange gave a couple of messages from a balcony window of the embassy - called on Barack Obama to stop the witch hunt against him, and to release Bradley Manning.  He thanked his supporters. He asked that whistle blowers be protected.

CBC suggested a deal may be in the works whereby Assange would give himself up for questioning in Sweden if that country promises not to extradite him to the USA.

CBC also suggested a legal body - maybe an international court -  force the UK to give him safe passage from the embassy to the airport. 

We've been through this before, but I still think Sweden will extradite Assange to the USA as soon as he sets foot on Swedish soil - damn the questioning, full speed ahead.

NDPP

Boom Boom wrote:

 

CBC suggested a deal may be in the works whereby Assange would give himself up for questioning in Sweden if that country promises not to extradite him to the USA.

CBC also suggested a legal body - maybe an international court -  force the UK to give him safe passage from the embassy to the airport. 

 

Assange and his legal team have already made such an offer to Sweden as above, which was refused. And yes, there is discussion of a lawsuit in the ICJ to stop America's UK vassal state from this outrageous violation of international law. RT is the best coverage of this matter - CBC probably the worst as befits the American satellite media fixated instead on its Putin-bashing Pussy Riot project.

US War on Whistleblowers Must End - Assange (and vid)

http://rt.com/news/assange-wikileaks-public-statement-ecuador-embassy-lo...

"Assange makes first public statement since entering Ecuador's London embassy.."

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

If you read my entire post, you will have seen that CBC reported Assange giving his messages this morning. The extradition speculation followed.

onlinediscountanvils

Jacob Two-Two wrote:

you sound like something of a lunatic.

 

Do you have to use disablist language to make your point?

Fotheringay-Phipps

No nation can ever have entirely clean hands, and Mr Assange is probably desperate, but Ecuador isn't exactly a fount of free information. The President, Rafael Correa, took the newspaper El Universo to court a few years back when they published critical comment, and managed to secure jail sentences and multi-million dollar fines against the editors. I remember at the time there was some concern that the newspaper might not survive. It appears to be thriving online at least, and the harsher penalties were remitted recently, but Correa remains an equivocal champion of free speech.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Julian Assange wrote:

Can you hear me?

I’m here because I cannot be there today. Thank you for coming. Thank you for your resolve and your generosity of spirit.

On Wednesday night, after a threat was sent to this embassy and the police descended on the building, you came out in the middle of the night to watch over it and you brought the world’s eyes with you.

Inside the embassy, after dark, I could hear teams of police swarming up into the building through the internal fire escape. But I knew that there would be witnesses. And that is because of you.

If the UK did not throw away the Vienna convention the other night that is because the world was watching. And the world was watching because you were watching.

The next time somebody tells you that it is pointless to defend those rights we hold dear, remind them of your vigil in the dark before the Embassy of Ecuador.

And how, in the morning, the sun came up on a different world, and a courageous Latin America nation took a stand for justice.

And so, to those brave people. I thank President Correa for the courage has shown in considering and granting me political asylum.

And so I thank the government, and the Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino, who have upheld the Ecuadorian constitution and its notion of universal rights in their consideration of my case.

And to the Ecuadorian people for supporting and defending this constitution.

And I have a debt of gratitude to the staff of this embassy, whose families live in London and who have shown me the hospitality and kindness despite the threats that they received.

This Friday there will be an emergency meeting of foreign of the foreign ministers of Latin America in Washington DC to address this situation.

And so I am grateful to the people and governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Venezuala, Columbia, and to all o the other Latin American countries who have come to defend the right to asylum.

To the people of the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden and Australia who have supported me in strength, even when their governments have not. And to those wiser heads in government who are still fighting for justice. Your day will come.

To the staff, supporters and source of Wikileaks, whose courage and commitment and loyalty has seen no equal.

To my family and to my children who have been denied their father. Forgive me. We will be reunited soon.

As Wikileaks stands under threat, so does the freedom of expression and the health of our societies. We must use this movement to articulate the choice that is before the government of the United States of America.

Will it return and reaffirm the values it was founded on.

Or will it lurch off the precipice, dragging us all into a dangerous and oppressive world, in which journalists fall silent under the fear of prosecution and citizens must whisper in the dark.

I say that it must turn back.

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.

The United States must pledge before the world that it will not pursue journalists for shining a light on the secret crimes of the powerful.

There must be no foolish talk about prosecuting any media organisations, be it Wikileaks or the New York Times.

The US administration’s war on whistleblowers must end.

Thomas Drake and William Binney and John Kirakou and the other heroic US whistleblowers must – they must – be pardoned and compensated for the hardships they have endured as servants o the public record.

And the Army Private who remains in a military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, who was found by the UN to have endured months of torturous detention in Quantico,Virginia and who has yet – after two years in prison – to see a trial, must be released.

And if Bradley Manning really did as he is accused, he is a hero, an example to us all and one of the world’s foremost political prisoners.

Bradley Manning must be released.

On Wednesday, Bradley Manning spent his 815th day of detention without trial. The legal maximum is 120 days.

On Thursday, my friend, Nabeel Rajab, was sentenced to 3 years for a tweet.

On Friday, a Russian band were sentenced to two years in jail for a political performance.

There is unity in the oppression.

There must be absolute unity and determination in the response.

Telegraph: statement in full

NDPP

see vid of statement delivery by Assange @ #72 above..

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

It's a good speech. But the bastards in the Obama administration don't care, they want him in chains, or better yet, dead.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

yes, duplication of post somewhat. The Telegraph link also has the video.

I wasn't aware that the English police had already "stormed" the Embassey through the internal fire escape, etc. Very slimy. It was good to see, however, that Julian Assange recognizes some other struggles and found the time to express his solidarity with the feminist artists in Russia, etc.

They must be furious in Barad-dûr. lol.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Assange has very limited movement - he can't even step out into the hallway. That building houses another embassy, by the way.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

Boom Boom wrote:

It's a good speech. But the bastards in the Obama administration don't care, they want him in chains, or better yet, dead.

 

Assange's reply, perhaps ...

Julian Assange wrote:
The next time somebody tells you that it is pointless to defend those rights we hold dear, remind them of your vigil in the dark before the Embassy of Ecuador.

The secrecy that the powerful rely upon to carry out their impudent atrocities is removed and ... voila! They lose their impudence.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Yup. Assange did good in that speech, no question.

NDPP

'US Instigating Violent Crackdown on Whistleblowers, Dissent': Naomi Wolf (and vid)

http://rt.com/usa/news/wolf-interview-039/

"With the world closely watching the rapidly developing case of Julian Assange, RT sat down with author Naomi Wolf to discuss why journalists are finding it increasingly difficult to publish data the US government doesn't want them to..."

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

I really like RT for coverage of many issues, Assange and Wikileaks included. However, it's disappointing (but hardly unexpected) to see their milquetoast coverage of the extreme sentence handed out to members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot.

NDPP

Maybe, but the desecration of a holy place in what was essentially viewed by many there as a hate crime - with a statutory maximum of seven years, with the prosecution seeking three, with credit given for time served - could have gone worse...what do you think another country, say Israel might do if a group of say Palestinian protesters had invaded a Jerusalem synagogue to sing of the mad dog murderer Netanyahu and his policies..? Or what Canada would do if a similar incident occurred at one here?

'Put Bibi away Put Bibi away

Yaweh, Yaweh god is shit!'

I'll bet Madonna wouldn't have been on board with that one...

and I can't help but notice either that not a word here has been said of the three year prison term handed down to Bahraini activist Nabeel Rajab for organizing protests against that murderous tyrant al Khalifa either...

If it's any consolation these jailed protesters will make lots and lots of lovely money from the shot in the arm this gives their band upon their release too and live happily ever after and much richer than Mandy Hiscocks too...

 

Fidel

The USA has quite a few political prisoners. For example, 71 Americans have been sentenced to a combined 44 years in prison for their non-violent protests outside the gates of the infamous U.S. Army School of the Americas. Someone accused us of accusing the CIA of supporting Pussy Riot. It's not the CIA and we never mentioned the CIA. The truth is that it's the U.S. Government supporting Pussy Riot. The U.S. Government supports and funds sedition in numerous countries around the world not just Russia and Cuba, and various U.S. officials in and out of government have admitted this to be true. It's no longer a secretive conspiracy when they confess to interfering politically in sovereign countries. If the reverse happened, Warshington would view it as an act of war. U.S. foreign policy hypocrisy is real, and it's been happening for a long time.

ikosmos ikosmos's picture

NDPP wrote:
... and I can't help but notice either that not a word here has been said of the three year prison term handed down to Bahraini activist Nabeel Rajab for organizing protests against that murderous tyrant al Khalifa either...

Since this is supposed to be a thread relating to Julian Assange, you might have noticed the following:

Assange wrote:

On Wednesday, Bradley Manning spent his 815th day of detention without trial. The legal maximum is 120 days.

On Thursday, my friend, Nabeel Rajab, was sentenced to 3 years for a tweet.

On Friday, a Russian band were sentenced to two years in jail for a political performance.

There is unity in the oppression.

There must be absolute unity and determination in the response.

Fidel

The Russians would obviously prefer to release Pussy Riot from jail after a few months time served. It's a good bet, tho, that Uncle Sam will continue betraying his Russian dupes and make it more difficult for Putin's bunch to ignore them. Yanquis will continue betraying their Russian dupes, like they betrayed their Cuban "dissident" dupes when funding their openly seditious activities in 2003. The Cubans tried to ignore it, but the Yanks made it too obvious as to who was aiding and abetting them at the time.

Assange's balcony speech was perfect. He's fighting for basic rights of whistleblowers to spill the beans on corrupt and criminal governments. Assange is fighting to reclaim noble ideas, like freedom, liberty and democracy on behalf of all of us, in a war being waged against all of us.

onlinediscountanvils

Fidel wrote:

The Russians would obviously prefer to release Pussy Riot from jail after a few months time served. It's a good bet, tho, that Uncle Sam will continue betraying his Russian dupes and make it more difficult for Putin's bunch to ignore them.

 

Wow. So not only are the women of Pussy Riot "dupes" of the U.S., but even Putin is unwittingly controlled by his masters in Washington - sorry - Warshington since he "obviously" wants to release them but can't, because to do so would allow the terrorists Madonna and Sting to win.

I have to say, I'm envious of your ability to see all the strings so clearly.

6079_Smith_W

And of course, Assange is a freedom fighter, and of course there is no legitimate reason why Sweden is asking to interview him.

I mean, if I were facing the drop I would probably also not be too picky about doing a deal with a fucking gangster in order to save my skin, but lets not stretch the truth completely out of shape just so we can rationalize this very desperate act. okay?

This poll is kind of flawed, in that it was based on the false assumption that he has been charged. But nevertheless, I think the numbers speak for themselves.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/08/20/gender-split-julian-assange-y...

Unless all those women are secret U.S. operatives too.

Here's a question.... if he had kept it in his pants, or if he had complied with a simple request about an STD test would we be dealing with this huge defense of the rights of whistleblowers?

"To live outside the law you must be honest" - Bob Dylan

 

Fidel

Yes the U.S. Government claims it is not seeking Assange's arrest or imprisonment.

Paul Craig Roberts wrote:
After the Swedish prosecutorial office dropped the case against Wikileaks’ Julian Assange, ruling that the charges of rape had no foundation, another prosecutor, many believe at the urging of the US government, demanded Assange be extradited from England in order to be questioned.  Normally, extradition only applies to those who have been charged with a crime and for whom a warrant has been issued, which is most certainly not the case with Assange.  But, of course, if Washington wants Assange, Washington will be sure every law is broken or bent until they get him. The Swedish puppet will do the exceptional country’s will and be paid well for its service.

Peace activists in several states had their homes invaded by FBI, computers and personal records taken, and a grand jury was convened in an attempt to indict them for supporting terrorism by their protests of Washington’s illegal wars, wars that are war crimes under the Nuremberg standard established by the US government itself.

And we all know how political prisoners and whistleblowers who defy the U.S. Military dictatorship are given a fair trial and swiftly imprisoned... and then tortured! Bradley Manning Tortured at Quantico.

kropotkin1951

Fotheringay-Phipps wrote:

No nation can ever have entirely clean hands, and Mr Assange is probably desperate, but Ecuador isn't exactly a fount of free information. The President, Rafael Correa, took the newspaper El Universo to court a few years back when they published critical comment, and managed to secure jail sentences and multi-million dollar fines against the editors. I remember at the time there was some concern that the newspaper might not survive. It appears to be thriving online at least, and the harsher penalties were remitted recently, but Correa remains an equivocal champion of free speech.

So Ecuador's Conrad Black got sent to jail. Too bad so sad. I am sure the right wing, neo-con editor sincerely believes he has the right to call the duly elected President a dictator and accuse him of ordering the execution of civilians.  The courts found the editor guilty of criminal libel. The paper claimed it was an opinion piece and was thus not libel.  They lost at every level of the court system.

I don't see any persecution there only the rule of law.  As for the President's recent comments about this mouth piece for Ecuador's 1%, I tend to agree that right wing media barons are generally evil and a virus that kills real discourse and leaves only propaganda. This one seems to be a particularly virulent strain of the blight.

6079_Smith_W

Ecuador's Conrad Black?

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Universo_%28peri%C3%B3dico%29

And the people are so gullible, and the government's hold on power so sensitive that the paper needs to be sued into submission, and people can't be trusted to sort out bullshit from the fair comment by themselves?

Frankly, I support the principle that political figures shouldn't be able to sue newspapers for libel, and that goes double for the head of government. I would say the same even if we were talking about a fascist newspaper.

Interestingly enough, when all this shit was going on, the publisher was holed up in the Panamanian embassy.

How far are some of you willing to stretch this, anyway?

 

 

 

kropotkin1951

So now Ecuador does not have a legal system?  The country is not governed by the rule of law?  You are attacking the legal system and civil society of the people of Ecuador. How humanitarian of you to defend this rich assholes right to defame elected politicians at  the same time as dismissing the complete judicial system as a puppet of a "dictator."   Why is it that the people of Ecuador and their legal system's should be so easily dismissed and the court's judgement used to defame the elected leader? 

"and people can't be trusted to sort out bullshit from the fair comment by themselves?"

I agree that advertising and propaganda have no effect.  What I don't understand is why the people who run the world spend so much money on it.  I guess they are just fools with no grasp of its effect on people.

 

6079_Smith_W

Nah, I don't know fuck all about this stuff, k.

That's why I defer to the assessment of organizations like Reporters without Borders.

http://en.rsf.org/ecuador-supreme-court-hearing-expected-to-15-02-2012,4...

And no, obviously the court system of any country is completely impartial and beyond suspicion, unless we are talking about the U.S. and its lackeys, whomever they happen to be in any particular case. Then obviously they are as crooked as a barrel of snakes.

I mean after all, we can't have people listening to and reading lies, can we? How would those poor impressionable fools ever be able to figure that out? Best to leave that stuff to the elected officials, and their libeled brothers.

 

 

 

 

kropotkin1951

The world as I see it has nasty, greedy people who don't believe in democracy and they have alot of money.  Those types of people all around the globe also own media and hire people in their own image as editors.  Its hard to say whether that type owns most of the private media but I would guess it is at least a sginificant minority of editors and owners in all countries with media.  Sorry for seeing things from such a distorted lens. 

I also agree with this from the article you posted.

Quote:

“President Correa has acted wisely in these two cases by deciding to dispense with sanctions that would have had terrible consequences for freedom of expression,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We would like to think that, as he said today, he never wanted to send anyone to prison. Was it nonetheless necessary, in the El Universo case, to await such a dramatic judicial conclusion before opting for leniency?

“A year of legal proceedings unfortunately fuelled the controversy and polarization. We hope that the climate will improve as a result of the presidential pardon and that media offences will soon be decriminalized. This outcome will hopefully also encourage certain media to measure their words before publishing or broadcasting. They were partly to blame and we have said so from the start. Such charged words as ‘dictator’ and ‘crime against humanity’ cannot be uttered lightly. Real critical debate should prevail over insults, abuse and intransigence.”

 

6079_Smith_W

Actually, it reminds me of how often I see the terms "fascist" and "police state" tossed around many places on the internet, including here.

Should we all be prepared to face multi-million dollar lawsuits before we make accusations like that? Is that the sort of freedom of the press and freedom of speech you advocate? One which is determined in the civil courts (impartial and unbiased, of course)?

 

 

 

kropotkin1951

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Should we all be prepared to face multi-million dollar lawsuits before we make accusations like that? Is that the sort of freedom of the press and freedom of speech you advocate? One which is determined in the civil courts (impartial and unbiased, of course)?

I see the value in libel laws and the value in respecting the legal traditions of other countries. I don't believe I have the moral authority to tell the people of Ecuador that their legal system is wrong. I also have no time to defend the rights of the rich. I figure they can hire people to do it if they need protecting.

Lying to me has nothing to do with freedom of expression.  i don't condone it and try not to practice it.  Freedom of expression is a right but it should not be a shield to hide behind while using lying as a weapon to slay your political opponents.  I have a right to be free from lies about my character and that shouldn't end because I decide to run for political office.  All civil societies with legal systems seem to have laws dealing with telling lies about peoples character. I would say they are necessary to ensure freedom of expression not a restraint on it. How can issues be discussed if the whole discourse is riddled with lies about character?

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

Two-Two I accept neither official version, Swedens nor Assenge's, and can careless what happens to this man (as long as it doesn’t happen in the USA).

As for sounding like a lunitic becouse of my beliefs, well, I'm in pretty good company here so.... OOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWW.

PS: I want to be one of those cool modern style warewolves, not those lame 1950s and 60s ones...

 

6079_Smith_W

kropotkin1951 wrote:

I see the value in libel laws and the value in respecting the legal traditions of other countries.

Though my guess is that doesn't extend to the British High Court's ruling on Assange's extradition, nor to the initial Swedish subpoena.

Frankly I don't support those ones either. as they have been carried out, and as I said, I don't begrudge Assange's going outside the law to resist them.

As a matter of fact, I can think of plenty of court rulings which I think were ill-advised, bought and paid for, and in some cases probably rigged. And as for not commenting on what happens in other countries, I think we have all broken that rule, so you'll excuse me if I don't buy that point of principle.

(edit)

Just so we aren't dancing around the bushes here, let me get a bit more specific. Politicians in many countries, including ours, enjoy a certain amount of immunity in terms of what they can say, and conversely, the press in many countries enjoy a similar (though not equivalent) freedom when it comes to commenting on public officials. I think both of these principles are a good thing.

What I don't think is a good or appropriate thing is the threat of three years in jail, and a 40 million dollar fine for calling the head of government a "dictator" in circumstances like this:

 In July, the Guayaquil-based paper's opinion editor, Emilio Palacio, and three of its executives, Carlos Pérez Barriga, César Pérez Barriga, and Nicolás Pérez Barriga (who are brothers), were sentenced to three years in prison apiece and a total of $40 million in damages on charges of defaming Correa. The charges stem from Palacio's February 6 column titled "NO to lies," in which he repeatedly referred to Correa as "the dictator." In reference to a police uprising in September 2010, during which three people were killed, Palacios alleged that Correa had ordered troops to fire "without warning on a hospital full of civilians and innocent people," and insinuated that these actions could constitute a crime against humanity. Correa, who sought refuge inside the hospital after being accosted by protesters and rescued by Ecuadoran soldiers, denies ordering troops to fire.

http://cpj.org/blog/2012/01/in-ecuador-defamation-case-could-set-dangero...

In an interesting parallel, one of the publishers sought refuge in the Panamanian embassy while this whole business was going on.

Seems a bit harsh to me. And frankly, I'd expect anyone who has ever refered to our govenrment as authoritarian or anti-democratic might be inclined to agree.

 

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