Thursday, January 10, 2013

Fact Sheet: Julian Assange, his asylum, and the Swedish investigation

This is a fact sheet which was designed to inform those attending or protesting Julian Assange's January 23, 2013 appearance at the Oxford Union. It is available as a .pdf to be printed and handed out.

Why did Ecuador grant asylum to Julian Assange?
Ecuador fulfilled Julian Assange's asylum request due to the risk of persecution by the U.S. Government. U.S. officials have confirmed an ongoing investigation into WikiLeaks, with continued calls for the prosecution of Mr Assange. He has also faced multiple calls for his assassination. It is apparent from Bradley Manning's hearings that the U.S. is attempting to implicate Mr Assange.

Is Ecuador interfering in the Swedish investigation?
The Government of Ecuador officially extended an offer for Sweden to question Julian Assange in the Embassy, which was rejected. Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has reiterated that Ecuador has no means to hinder the investigation, but only wishes to protect Mr Assange from U.S. persecution.

Is Julian Assange avoiding questioning by the Swedish prosecution?
Julian Assange has offered to be questioned in London for over two years, and continues to offer such to this day. Questioning someone in another country is a standard EU legal procedure, which Sweden used just last year for an alleged murderer. The Swedish prosecutor offers no reason as to why she will not question Mr Assange in London.

If Julian Assange is innocent, why doesn't he just go to Sweden?
If extradited to Sweden, Julian Assange will be immediately placed in solitary confinement, incommunicado, despite the fact that he has yet to be charged with a crime. This treatment can be seen in the recent case of Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm. Mr Assange would not have had the ability to seek asylum were he to be extradited, therefore being unable to protect himself from U.S. persecution.

[Addendum: People often try to dispute the fact that Mr Assange has not been charged. Here are two official sources—the UK Supreme Court and the Agreed Statement of Facts between both Applicant and Respondant—which state that Mr Assange has not been charged (emphasis mine).
  1. UK Supreme Court: "charges have not yet been brought against Mr Assange".
  2. Agreed Statement of Facts: "The Appellant [Julian Assange] has not to date not been given the copies of the complete case file relating to the case (save those that were provided to the Swedish court by the prosecutor). Under Swedish law the Appellant is only entitled to have access to this material once a final decision to prosecute is made."]

What else should I know?
The Swedish investigation against Julian Assange has been very unusual. The case was initially closed, then reopened by another prosecutor. The interview of one complainant was not recorded, despite the fact that interviews with all other persons were recorded. A condom submitted as evidence by the other complainant contained no DNA from Mr Assange. These are just a few examples of the peculiar conduct of the investigation.


All sources are hyperlinked within the article.
For more information please see the following websites:
U.S. v WikiLeaks - A website dedicated to detailing the ongoing U.S. investigation into WikiLeaks and the case against Pfc. Bradley Manning.
Justice for Assange - A website dedicated to detailing the Swedish investigation against Mr Assange.
"The Wikileaks, Julian Assange Diplomatic Standoff" - An animated infographic, offering a quick and easy way to understand the Swedish investigation against Mr Assange.
Agreed Statement of Facts and Issues - Court document showing facts of Mr Assange's case that are agreed on by both the defense and prosecution.
Jennifer Robinson: Brief to Canberra - A briefing by Mr Assange's lawyer giving a timeline of events and overview of concerns regarding the Swedish investigation.
WL Facts - Assange FAQ - A list of frequently asked questions surrounding Mr Assange.


This flyer was put together by M Cetera.
She can be contacted via Twitter at @m_cetera or via email at mcetera[at]mail[dot]be.

4 comments:

  1. 1. Assange is not wanted for questioning, he is wanted for criminal proceedings: http://www.wikiwatch.org.uk/common-misconceptions/#OnlyQuestioning

    2. Why don't you write about what kind of asylum it is. Diplomatic, not political: http://theinternationalpolicy.com/2012/08/17/the-ecuadorian-diplomatic-asylum-to-julian-assange/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1. This is false. Please see point 35 of the Agreed Statement of Facts which notes that the decision to prosecute Mr Assange has not been made. http://www.scribd.com/doc/80912442/Agreed-Facts-Assange-Case

      2. I am not well-versed enough on asylum law to discuss this point with surety. The BBC states that the difference has to do with where the person seeks asylum. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18521881

      Please note that this is not meant to be a comprehensive list of facts about Mr Assange's situation. It was created to fit on a half-sheet and address the questions raised in regards to Mr Assange's upcoming Oxford Union address.

      Delete
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