PRESS RELEASE: Letter From Prominent Americans, Delivered to Ecuadorean Embassy London, Urges Asylum for Assange

JFP's Policy Director Robert Naiman just hand delivered our petition from over 4,000 JFP members and a letter signed by prominent Americans including Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Oliver Stone, Daniel Ellsberg and Glenn Greenwald, urging Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa to grant Julian Assange's request for asylum.

PRESS RELEASE: Letter From Prominent Americans, Delivered to Ecuadorean Embassy London, Urges Asylum for Assange
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/pressreleases/assange-letter

For Immediate Release
June 25, 2012

Media Contacts:
(London) Robert Naiman, 217-979-2957, naiman@justforeignpolicy.org
(US) Megan Iorio, 908-400-9480, iorio@justforeignpolicy.org

Letter From Prominent Americans, Delivered to Ecuadorean Embassy London, Urges Asylum for Assange

Letter signed by Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Glenn Greenwald, Naomi Wolf, Daniel Ellsberg, Danny Glover, Oliver Stone, Bill Maher, Patch Adams, MD, Mark Weisbrot and other prominent Americans; petition signed by 4000 Americans

LONDON, June 25 - Robert Naiman, Policy Director at Just Foreign Policy, delivered a letter to the Ecuadorean Embassy today, signed by prominent Americans urging President Correa of Ecuador to grant Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's petition for political asylum. Assange faces the threat of prosecution by the United States Government under the US Espionage Act of 1917 for his role in publishing leaked US diplomatic cables.

Naiman also presented a petition signed by more than four thousand Americans urging President Correa to approve the request for asylum.

The letter and the petition were received by Consul Fidel Narvaez.

The letter, which is online, notes that Assange is not wanted on criminal charges in Sweden, but merely for questioning. He has repeatedly made clear that he is willing to answer questions relating to accusations against him, but in the UK. As Swedish legal expert and former Chief District Prosecutor for Stockholm Sven-Erik Alhem has testified, Sweden's insistence that Assange be brought to Sweden for questioning is “unreasonable and unprofessional, as well as unfair and disproportionate.”

“If Swedish police want to question him, there is an SAS flight that leaves Stockholm at 7:55 tomorrow morning (flight #525) to London. I'm sure the British authorities would have no problem with the Swedish police questioning Mr. Assange. Then Sweden can decide if it wants to charge him with a crime,” Michael Moore, one of the signers of the letter, said on Facebook. “But it appears that Sweden has little interest in these charges—what they really want is the ability to extradite Assange to America. And that, simply, must not happen.”

As the letter emphasizes, Assange has good reason to fear extradition to Sweden, since there is a strong likelihood that once he is there, the US will seek to extradite him to face charges under the Espionage Act for his role in publishing leaked US diplomatic cables. The maximum penalty under the Espionage Act is death.

The letter highlights the fact that Assange has helped reveal evidence to the public of crimes against humanity committed by the United States. His persecution by the US government is a clear attack on press freedom and the public's right to know the truth about US foreign policy.

"If the US government succeeds in prosecuting Assange under the Espionage Act for helping to disclose the Wikileaks cables, it will likely intimidate future potential whistleblowers, making it harder to reveal important secrets about US foreign policy in the future, and therefore making it harder to reform US foreign policy in the future," Naiman wrote in a piece at Huffington Post.

Resources:

Letter from prominent Americans urging President Correa to grant asylum to Assange:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/1257

Petition from over 4,000 individuals, mostly Americans, calling upon President Correa to grant Assange Asylum:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/act/assange-asylum

Naiman's article in the Huffington Post:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/president-correa-please-p_b_1612478.html

###

Just Foreign Policy is a nonprofit nonpartisan advocacy organization that works to reform U.S. foreign policy so that it reflects the values and interests of the majority of Americans. For further information see, go to http://www.justforeignpolicy.org.

Assange is wanted in Sweden for questioning about following

Unlawful coercion

On 13-14 August 2010, in home of the injured party [A] in Stockholm, Assange, by using violence, forced the injured party to endure his restricting her freedom of movement. The violence consisted in a firm hold of the injured party's arms and a forceful spreading of her legs while lying on top of her and with his body weight preventing her from moving or shifting.

Sexual molestation

On 13-14 August 2010, in home of the injured party [A] in Stockholm, Assange deliberately molested the injured party by acting in a manner designed to violate her sexual integrity. Assange, who was aware that it was the expressed wish of the injured party and a prerequisite of sexual intercourse that a condom be used, consummated sexual intercourse with her without her knowledge.

Sexual molestation

On 18 August 2010 or on any of the days before or after that date, in the home of the injured party [A] in Stockholm, Assange deliberately molested the injured party by acting in a manner designed to violate her sexual integrity; that is, lying next to her and pressing his naked, erect penis to her body.

Rape

On 17 August 2010, in the home of the injured party [B], Assange deliberately consummated sexual intercourse with her by improperly exploiting that she, due to sleep, was in a helpless state. It is an aggravating circumstance that Assange, who was aware that it was the expressed wish of the injured party and a prerequisite of sexual intercourse that a condom be used, still consummated unprotected sexual intercourse with her. The sexual act was designed to violate the injured party's integrity.

“But it appears that Sweden has little interest in these charges—what they really want is the ability to extradite Assange to America."
Michael Moore, known expert on international law.

Let's take a look at reality. Here is the council framework for the EAW. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32002F0584:en:HTML
Article 28, paragraph 4:

"4. Notwithstanding paragraph 1, a person who has been surrendered pursuant to a European arrest warrant shall not be extradited to a third State without the consent of the competent authority of the Member State which surrendered the person. Such consent shall be given in accordance with the Conventions by which that Member State is bound, as well as with its domestic law."

In other words extraditing Assange makes it more difficult, not less, because now both the UK and Sweden needs to approve of the extradition to the US.

Assange is a hero being treated like a criminal, as well as Pvt.Manning being tortured, criminal. So only real criminals here is the United states. Shame on you US!!!! You put shame on us for the giant corporations greed...Horrific what Pres.Obama is doing to Protestors, is not for "Protestors" blacks could still be slaves!!! Pay it forward Pres.Obama!! You owe it to us (me) because I marched with Dr. King! I marched for womens rights too which seem to be slipping away also.. Do your job, & stop acting like a terrorist. We didn't vote for you to do this. you promised "Transparency" & have done everything but that!!

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