Julian Assange Update: Ecuador, Extradition, & Police- Live Video
Julian Assange Granted Asylum in Ecuador, but Wouldn't Make It to the Airport
Here's an update on what' sup with Wikileaks spokesman Julian Assange. As you already know, the UK has vowed to send Julian Assange to Sweden to be interviewed for sex crimes with which he has not been charged.
Julian Assange headed to the Ecuadorian embassy, where he sought shelter for the last 57 days and applied for political asylum. Scotland Yard has set up a police barricade around Ecuador's embassy, claiming it's just regular embassy-protection procedure, but nobody really believes that.
London Police Not Necessarily on Such Firm Ground
Julian Assange has been granted political asylum in Ecuador, but there's no realistic way to get him from the embassy to an airport without the police grabbing him. The Met says that it is within its rights to storm the Ecuadorian embassy once it's given a week's notice, though this would spark an major diplomatic incident, and the British Government should be very, very, very careful about setting such a precedent. If you start invading embassies to snatch people not legally considered criminals, then that practice can be used against your citizens as well.
Sweden Could Easily Send an Interviewer to the Ecuadorian Embassy
Meanwhile, it's not at all clear why Sweden can't simply interview Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy. WikiLeaks supporters argue that extraditing Assange to Sweden is only for the purpose of handing him off to the US; Washington has been baying for Assange's blood since the Collateral Murder leak.
Below you can see live video from in front of the Ecuadorian embassy, broadcast by Julian Assange's supporters.
"Assange has hailed the "courageous" act of Ecuador and compared it with the reluctance of Britain and Australia to help him.
In a statement made earlier at the embassy this afternoon, he thanked the staff and went on to pay tribute to Bradley Manning.
"I am grateful to the Ecuadorean people, President Rafael Correa and his government. It was not Britain or my home country, Australia, that stood up to protect me from persecution, but a courageous, independent Latin American nation.
While today is a historic victory, our struggles have just begun. The unprecedented US investigation against WikiLeaks must be stopped.
While today much of the focus will be on the decision of the Ecuadorean government, it is just as important that we remember Bradley Manning has been detained without trial for over 800 days.
The task of protecting WikiLeaks, its staff, its supporters and its alleged sources continues."