In the course of negotiations over the status of Julian Assange who is hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, the British Foreign Office made it clear that “The UK has a legal obligation to extradite Mr. Assange to Sweden to face questioning over allegations of sexual offences and we remain determined to fulfill this obligation….it is only right that we give Ecuador the full picture. Throughout this process [we] have drawn the Ecuadorians’ attention to relevant provisions of our law, whether, for example, the extensive human rights safeguards in our extradition procedures, or to the legal status of diplomatic premises in the UK. We are still committed to reaching a mutually acceptable solution.”
The Ecuadorian Foreign Minister, Ricardo Patino, however, did not read a reasonable explanation of the law. He read, and told the press, that, “Today we’ve received a threat by the United Kingdom, a clear and written threat that they could storm our embassy in London if Ecuador refuses to hand in Julian Assange. We are not a British colony!”
No, but your embassy is on British soil and is only there by the largesse of the British government. The United Kingdom can revoke your ambassador’s accreditation and order her to leave the country. It can revoke your nation’s right to have an embassy in the UK. And, under their laws, the British police can enter the embassy to arrest Assange. Not exactly a threat to storm the castle.
But, those items were probably at the bottom of the body of the letter. First, the British Foreign Office would have explained, once again, the extradition issues and the legal issues within the European Union. Then, they would have explained that there is no way to transport Assange out of the country, because the embassy does not have a means to get him into a diplomatic vehicle without setting foot on British ground. Lastly, the would have explained what the UK can do in the alternative.
Patino repeated the wild claim that they are concerned that Assange would be transferred from Sweden to the United States where he would face the death penalty. He said that the Ecuadorian government as come to its decision concerning asylum for Assange and would make the announcement at 7:00 a.m. Quito local time (which is U. S. Eastern Time.) Today’s performance was just a case of the Ecuadorian government dramatics.
I would like to thank the Ecuadorian government for destroying the myth mi Abuela told me, that Latinos are gracious and civilized people. Seven a.m. is totally uncivilized.