Thursday 16th August, 3:00am UTC
In a communication this morning to the government of Ecuador, the UK
threatened to forcefully enter the Ecuadorian embassy in London and arrest
The UK claims the power to do so under the Diplomatic and Consular Premises
This claim is without basis.
By midnight, two hours prior to the time of this announcement, the embassy had
been surrounded by police, in a menacing show of force.
Any transgression against the sanctity of the embassy is a unilateral and
shameful act, and a violation of the Vienna Convention, which protects
This threat is designed to preempt Ecuador’s imminent decision on whether it
will grant Julian Assange political asylum, and to bully Ecuador into a
decision that is agreeable to the United Kingdom and its allies.
WikiLeaks condemns in the strongest possible terms the UK’s resort to
A threat of this nature is a hostile and extreme act, which is not
proportionate to the circumstances, and an unprecedented assault on the rights
of asylum seekers worldwide.
We draw attention to the fact that the United Nations General Assembly has
unanimously declared in Resolution 2312 (1967) that
"the grant of asylum. . . is a peaceful and humanitarian act and that, as
such, it cannot be regarded as unfriendly by any other State."
Pursuant to this resolution, a decision to grant asylum cannot be construed by
another State as an unfriendly act. Neither can there be diplomatic
consequences for granting asylum.
We remind the public that these extraordinary actions are being taken to
detain a man who has not been charged with any crime in any country.
WikiLeaks joins the Government of Ecuador in urging the UK to resolve this
situation according to peaceful norms of conduct.
We further urge the UK government to show restraint, and to consider the dire
ramifications of any violation of the elementary norms of international law.
We ask that the UK respect Ecuador’s sovereign right to deliver a decision of
its own making on Julian Assange’s asylum bid.
Noting that Ecuador has called for emergency summits of OAS and UNASUR in
response to this development, WikiLeaks asks those bodies to support Ecuador’s
rights in this matter, and to oppose any attempts to coerce a decision.
We note with interest that this development coincides with the UK Secretary of
State William Hague’s assumption of executive responsibilities during the
vacation of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.
Mr Hague’s department, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has overseen the
negotiations to date with Ecuador in the matter of Mr Assange’s asylum bid.
If Mr Hague has, as would be expected, approved this decision, WikiLeaks calls
for his immediate resignation.
Australian Documentary on Julian Assange’s situation:
http://www.abc.net.au/ 4corners/stories/2012/07/19/ 3549280.htm