Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Ecuadorian Farce

Rafael Correa, President of the Republic of Ecuador
The concepts of "political asylum" and "political refugee" are relatively well defined in International Law and precedence. The concepts are to be used for persons needing protection from persecution due to race, nationality, religion, political opinions and membership and/or participation in any particular social group or social activities. Sexual persecution has also come to be accepted in some countries as a legitimate category for asylum claims, when the person can prove that the state of origin is unable or unwilling to provide protection.

The Ecuadorian interpretation making Julian Assange, suspected of rape and other sexual crimes in Sweden, a human rights activist and offering him political asylum on the grounds that he would be wrongfully persecuted if he were sent to Sweden for inquiry and possible trial for his crimes is an abuse of the concepts.

It is not at all strange that this decision has now caused a diplomatic farce between Ecuador, on one hand, and Sweden, United Kingdom and Australia, on the other.

So with this decision Assange now prolongs his voluntary house arrest another few years, possibly even longer than the prison time he would have gotten if he had been tried and convicted by a Swedish court in a timely manner without all the obstructions.

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