Update August 17, 2012: The the Ecuador Ministry of Foreign Affairs has released an English version of their statement on Julian Assange’s asylum.
The text below is translated from the official Spanish transcript of today’s press statement issued by Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño Aroca, explaining Ecuador’s decision to grant asylum to Julian Assange. Here is a backup text in case Ecuadorian govt. website goes down : backup 1, backup 2.
Declaration by the Government of the Republic of Ecuador on Julian Assange’s asylum application
- Julian Assange is an award-winning communications professional internationally known for his struggles for freedom of expression, press freedom and human rights in general;
- Mr. Assange shared privileged documents and information generated by various sources that affected employees, countries and organizations with a global audience;
- That there is strong evidence of retaliation by the country or countries that produced the information disclosed by Mr. Assange, retaliation that may endanger his safety, integrity, and even his life;
- That, despite Ecuador’s diplomatic efforts, countries which have been asked to give adequate safeguards for the protection and safety for the life of Mr. Assange have refused to facilitate them;
- That Ecuadorian authorities are certain of the possibility that Mr. Assange could be extradited to a third country outside the European Union without proper guarantees for their safety and personal integrity;
- That legal evidence clearly shows that, given an extradition to the United States of America, it would be unlikely for Mr. Assange to receive a fair trial, and likely that he would be judged by special or military courts, where there is a high probability of suffering cruel and degrading treatment, and be sentenced to life imprisonment or capital punishment, which would violate his human rights;
- That while Mr. Assange must answer for the investigation in Sweden, Ecuador is aware that the Swedish prosecutor has had a contradictory attitude that prevented Mr. Assange the full exercise of the legitimate right of defense;
- Ecuador is convinced that the procedural rights of Mr. Assange have been infringed upon during the investigation;
- Ecuador has observed that Mr. Assange lacks the protection and assistance that should be received from the State of which he is a citizen;
- That, following several public statements and diplomatic communications by officials from Britain, Sweden and the USA, it is inferred that these governments would not respect international conventions and treaties, and would give priority to domestic law, in violation of explicit rules of universal application and,
- That, if Mr. Assange is remanded to custody in Sweden (as is customary in this country), a chain of events would begin that would prevent further protective measures from being taken to avoid possible extradition to a third country.
- If there is an ongoing legal process or intent to carry out such processes against Julian Assange and/or the founders of the WikiLeaks organization;
- Should the above be true, then under what kind of legislation, and how and under what conditions would such persons be subject to under maximum penalties;
- Whether there is an intention to request the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States.