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> URGENT: Ecuador has illegally terminated Assange political asylum in violation of international law. He was arrested by the British police inside the Ecuadorian embassy minutes ago.

Source: https://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/1116273826621480960

Holy moly, this will be interesting!


If you're interested, here's a video of him being escorted out of the embassy --



Comments from Snowden advising journalists to cover the story with authentic facts:


Of course Ecuador can revoke asylum.

It's very common practice around the world if a person's circumstances change and their original country is now safe. Likewise if Ecuador believes that there is no longer a threat to Assange they can revoke it.

> Likewise if Ecuador believes that there is no threat to Assange that can revoke it.

Thats a stretch considering they invited the police to arrest him.

The police were arresting him for skipping bail - that's not a political asylum issue.

No, but politically persecuting Assange under pretexts is. Since (I assume) Ecuador protected him not because they oppose persecution for sexual assault, but because they believed that was a pretext for political persecution, I do not see how the circumstances have changed. Except for the Ecuadorian embassy staff reportedly getting fed up with Assange, of course.

One of the ways that things have changed is the continued illegal political campaigning whilst in the embassy that Assange is accused of. Asylum doesn't give protection against breaking the law in the host country.

The police were arresting him to extradite him to the US.


> Scotland Yard has confirmed that Assange was arrested on behalf of the US after receiving a request for his extradition.

That was a further arrest, after he was in custody. This is relatively common in the UK.

They may have assurances from the US that they won't extradite for all we know.

Or that US prosecutors won't seek an extended jail term or death penalty. Not that those were likely on the table anyway.

He has been a citizen of Ecuador since 2017. That's quite different to only having asylum status.


There are no rape charges. He has not been charged with any crime.

> At Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday he [Assange] was found guilty of failing to surrender to the court.

>The indictment against Assange, issued last year in the state of Virginia, alleges that he conspired in 2010 with Manning to access classified information on Department of Defense computers. He faces up to five years in jail.

From all accounts it's to do with Assange's behaviour.

Helping to elect Trump and being an annoying guest is not something that helps people like you.

I'm honestly out of the loop. Is there concrete irrefutable evidence Assange helped electing Trump? Seems weird, even more so with them then turning around and pushing for his arrest. And being an annoying guest? Are you talking about the new rules introduced by the embassy only to be looked at later saying "you broke them"?


This indictment from the Meuller investigation details how GRU agents hacked the Democratic Party and coordinated with WikiLeaks (“Organization 1” in the indictment) to release the documents they obtained (using the personas “DCLeaks”, “Guccifer 2.0”).

I'm conflicted about this. It seems to be proving Wikileaks timed the release to have an effect on the election, and was aware of its wider effects, but don't you think if someone else came to them with a similar release benefiting the opposite party they would have behaved the same way? I still find it difficult to fault Wikileaks for this. They just did the leaking.

From that PDF: Organization 1 added, “if you have anything hillary related we want it in the next tweo [sic] days prefable [sic] because the DNC [Democratic National Convention] is approaching and she will solidify bernie supporters behind her after.” The Conspirators responded, “ok . . . i see.” Organization 1 explained, “we think trump has only a 25% chance of winning against hillary . . . so conflict between bernie and hillary is interesting.”

Look at how Assange was critical of the Panama Papers release.

Very obvious which side he is on.

The Panama Papers were released a couple years after changes in US/Panama law meant that it was no longer a great country to launder your money for US citizens, hence why the only US citizens caught in it didn't show any wrongdoing.

The whole thing stank of a US intelligence op.

Do you have any details about what those changes in the law were? Sounds interesting.

Whether anything Assange did was actually decisive in Trump's election is a pretty speculative question, but we do have leaked transcripts of his messages to Donald Trump Jr...


Never mind that Putin’s mouthpiece just cautioned UK to respect Assange’s rights.

The Russian press are all over any story they can spin to make it look like the West isn't the bastion of freedom, equality and democracy it claims to be - basically, anything which makes us look like our own papers' descriptions of Russia. So that doesn't say much.

(Also, ironically this BBC article and other outlets are having to use a video of Assange's arrest from Ruptly, a subsidiary of Russia Today, because they bought into their own narrative about his impending arrest being a construct of his own imagination so hard they didn't have any reporters outside to catch it.)

The claim is based on Wikileaks offering up information that portrays the US negatively, but little to nothing that does the same against Russia.

From there, linked with the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory, claims of them supporting the Trump campaign came to be.

Regardless of your opinion on Trump, I’m not sure that offering up one-sided info that benefits or hurts a candidate is or should be an arrestable offense. Entire television news networks do it.

You need information before you can leak it, do you know that they didnt attempt to find information on russia?

Are they supposed to make such an attempt? I’m not sure of what you’re implying here.

I am saying that you can hardly deduct anything about their positive affiliation with Russia just because they haven't exposed things about Russia.

So unless they aren't looking for things to leak about Russia because of being in the cahoots with them then it's hardly an argument that because nothing is leaked about Russia they are somehow not attempting.

Why do people keep saying that he helped elect trump. Because he exposed lies and corruption of another candidate? Are people still bitter and upset at the 2016 elections?

> Are people still bitter and upset at the 2016 elections?


While sitting on lies and corruption of the Trump campaign? "Both sides do wrong, let's report on one side only" doesn't negate the fact that the Democrats had problems, but don't act like there wasn't any more motivation.

>Snowden advising journalists to cover the story with authentic facts

>retweets Russia Today and Cassandra Fairbanks

I can't believe people still defend this guy.

“illegally terminated”

That’s not how that works

> to a country in which they would be in likely danger of persecution based on "race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion"

Which, precisely, of these categories do you think he fits under here?

membership of a particular social group or political opinion

I'm relatively neutral on Wikileaks/Assange, but this is a stretch. I don't think "illegally leaking documents" counts as a political opinion any more than I should be entitled to asylum because I have a "political opinion" that MDMA synthesis should be legal and got caught for engaging in it.

That's intended to cover things like persecution solely for being a member of a political party.

it's not so much a stretch to say "transparency" is a political opinion..

i'm not even so much agreeing with what he did and full transparency, but to me all of this is clearly political.

Everything is political opinion, but the legal standards are much narrower. The idea that I can hold a political opinion that "I should not be arrested for breaking laws", break a law, and then expect not to be arrested because of my political opinion is ridiculous.

I'm firmly against his potential extradition to any other country, but let's be honest -- he's not exactly in trouble with British authorities due to his "political opinions", is he?

why is he in trouble for then ?

Skipping bail. For refusing to surrender to the court after he was released on bail, following his arrest for questioning over sexual assault allegations.

If it was for skipping bail, why is he getting extradited to the US where he did not skip bail?

He's not being extradicted, he was arrested in connection with an extradition request. He now has the opportunity to fight his extradition in court.

From charges that were dropped.

A central tenet of the UK legal system is that people on bail don't get to unilaterally decide they should just be able to skip it.

Also, the victims of crime don't get to "press charges" ro "drop charges", that's for the CPS.

The charges were dropped because the warrants could not be served.

He was never charged with a crime. There were no charges.

If he was anyone else the british authorities would’ve quickly forgotten about him jumping bail.

They wouldn’t have spent this much money and resources on just anyone.

Yes, the fact that Assange is prominent is obviously a factor. But that doesn't mean that there's some kind of sinister motive for enforcing the law in this case. Consider that the UK police spent £11m looking for a single missing child (https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/police-madel...). Would they spend that much on a child who wasn't in the news? No. But I'm sure the people looking for her genuinely wanted to find her.

> If he was anyone else the british authorities would’ve quickly forgotten about him jumping bail.

Ignoring the specifics in this case, I'm assuming you know absolutely nothing about our legal system? Jumping bail is not taken lightly in most of the world.

I know quite a bit about your legal system thank you. It is extraordinarily unusual to spend this much money to pursue any arrest warrant, much less one for such a minor offense.

Of course, now we know that there's been an US warrant on JA since at least Dec 2017

> If he was anyone else

If he was someone else who had a European Arrest Warrant outstanding for rape, the authorities would take it seriously. Our press are going to have a dim view of a foreign (alleged) rapist running around because the police couldn't be arsed.

Jumping bail to an embassy in Knightsbridge and talking to the media from the balcony isn't going to help them look the other way either.

Skipping bail.

There is no obvious threat of persecution. Facing rape charges certainly doesn't qualify.

Assange is in danger of "persecution" based on his avoidance of the judicial process. That's not a protected class.

> > membership of a particular social group or political opinion

It says it applies to the generic repatriation of refugees, not the specific repatriation of a political asylum seeker like Assange. There's also no evidence that Assange faces political persecution in the UK. His stated concern is about extradition to the USA, in which case he should apply for political asylum in the UK.

> His stated concern is about extradition to the USA, in which case he should apply for political asylum in the UK.

If I faced extradition to the USA, I am not sure if I would trust the UK to protect me.

You missed the key point.

It's up to the Ecuadorian government to decide whether the threat of danger is legitimate or not.

Revoking his asylum could be in violation of Ecuadorian law.

(But IANAL specialized in Ecuadorian asylum law)

He's an Ecuadorian citizen. Does the Ecuadorian law allow for the extradition of Ecuadorian citizens? It's quite common for this to be illegal.

Of course this wouldn't be your typical extradition as he was already on UK ground, but I think it would not be unreasonable for a court to view this as an extradition.

> He's an Ecuadorian citizen

Your information is a few hours out of date

> Does the Ecuadorian law allow for the extradition of Ecuadorian citizens

Yes, and also specifically to America, for what it's worth

> this wouldn't be your typical extradition

That's because it wouldn't be an extradition. Embassies are not extra-territorial. British police didn't storm the embassy largely out of politeness and convention.

>That's because it wouldn't be an extradition. Embassies are not extra-territorial. British police didn't storm the embassy largely out of politeness and convention.

My comment specifically acknowledged this, however I see a very real chance that a court might view this as an extradition. It is the .ec government handing him over to a foreign country after all.

International law isn't enforcable, really. It would be great if it were, but why would sovereigns give up absolute control of their legal systems?

There isn’t really such thing as international law. Only treaties between states that are sovereign, and as such can tear them up if they do not wish to abide to them anymore.

"International rules and customs" would be a better term. International Law is real but it is not "law" in remotely the same way that domestic laws are and using the same word for them is confusing.

Rules, customs and precedent. Which is pretty much the basis for law anywhere.

Here's a video that shows two guys that were present during his arrest: https://twitter.com/CassandraRules/status/111512606296137318...

What does Julian say in the video?

"UK has no sovereignty!"

"UK must resist"

"Resist this attempt by the Trump administration"

and something else when he's in the van which I can't make out with people talking over it.

> "Resist this attempt by the Trump administration"

Funny. Trump has said he loves WikiLeaks, and likely has no interest in Assange getting extradited to the US.

funny? probably not.

And as for no interest in extraditing him, he was arrested in response to a US extradition request.


The US, and the MET police, have already confirmed that Assange has been re-arrested for an extradition warrant to the US.

Problem is, Trump says a lot of things that he doesn't mean. Or he forgets, it's a little unclear.

But the American intelligence community appears very interested in the guy and is known to have been working on extradition process in 2018.

If the American intelligence community wants to extradite Assange, I don't doubt somebody high-ranking in the CIA will sit down with the president and by the end of the meeting, have him thoroughly convinced that he's wanted Assange's extradition all along. They have agents trained in psychological operations and negotiation, and Trump is demonstrably an easy mark.

I'm not clear why the U.S. president should be in the loop here anyway. Who makes the decision to prosecute in such cases?

Federal attorneys are appointed by the President, and can also be fired by the President at his discretion.

> Problem is, Trump says a lot of things that he doesn't mean. Or he forgets, it's a little unclear.

Unlikely, as it could play a big role in the whole ongoing public debate about the Trump-Russia connection.

> But the American intelligence community appears very interested in the guy and is known to have been working on extradition process in 2018.

Yep, but "Trump administration" seems to suggest that Trump is directing this, which seems comical to me.

I have found very little correlation between the things Trump says and the things he does, or even the things he says later.

I think in the USA is exactly where Trump wants Assange.

I'm reminded of Bush Sr keeping Panama's President Manuel Noriega in cold storage.


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