Ecuador ratifies support for the human rights of Julian Assange

2 años de Assange en la Embajada del Ecuador en Reino Unido

It has been two years since the founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, stayed at the Embassy of Ecuador in London, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility, Ricardo Patiño, along with activist, gave a press conference in which they explained the actual, physical, legal and emotional situation, facing due to his role as a journalist and inform the public about relevant facts related to the serious violations of human rights in Iraq and elsewhere. Meanwhile, Julian Assange acknowledged and emphasized the sovereign decision of Ecuador.

Minister Patiño recapitulated Ecuador´s decision to grant political asylum to Assange, and was based on an investigation in which it was determined that “there was a well-founded fear of political persecution motivated by his activities as a journalist” and considering the international instruments binding, among which include the Status of Refugees of 1951 and its 1967 Protocol, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1967, the Convention against Torture 1984 and the American Convention on Human Rights and the 1969 Caracas Convention on Diplomatic Asylum, 1954, which committed the country to defend the human rights of people.

“These instruments also commit us to protect them against the policy are subject to prosecution, regardless of power that the trackers have. Ours is not an option; it is a must. But it is also a right that assists us as a country, according to all recognized international instruments”, said the Chancellor.

However, as stated by the Minister Patiño, the United Kingdom, preventing Assange to be transferred to Ecuadorian territory, has not respected the legal right of the Ecuador to grant asylum to citizen and, above all, has violated Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948, which states that “everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy it”.

“After two years of confinement in a small embassy in central London, it is ironic that it was the UK that suggested the word “enjoy” in historical debates that led to the final draft of the Declaration of 48. Not only asylum, then said the British delegates, enjoy asylum, insisted that was put in the text. How angry would those British representatives today if they knew what their country is doing with Julian Assange”, said the Chancellor.

Rueda de prensa por los dos años de asilo de AssangeIn addition, the Chancellor stressed that in these two years investigations against Assange in Sweden has not advanced to a judgment, although Ecuador has cooperated and held the door open for the prosecution in Sweden, so they can continue with the investigation preliminary interviewing journalist; or through video conference, either through physical presence at the Embassy, as the interview is provided below in both the European Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of 2000, and the Law of Procedure own Criminal Swedish.

In this regard, the Minister noted that the Swedish legislation, like the rest of the friendly Human rights legislation establishes a universal principle, which is the effective remedy, which establishes the obligation of the prosecution to instruct without delay a process improper, to ensure access to justice plaintiffs, but was also designed to prevent people stay too long in a state of uncertainty about their fate. But “two years later, the preliminary investigation is stagnant, without the Swedish Attorney has adopted none of the mechanisms that under the legislation, and is available for further investigation”.

As the position of the United Kingdom, the Chancellor said that this Government has reiterated its intention to comply with the commitments under the European arrest warrant, issued against Assange, although the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union states that nil “the surrender of a person against whom it has issued a warrant for objective reasons to believe that the arrest warrant has been issued for the purpose of prosecution or punishment on account of political opinion, or that that person’s position may be prejudiced for any of these reasons”.

Precisely on reasonable grounds exist to believe that the integrity of Julian Assange is in danger to be delivered to the Swedish justice, the founder of Wikileaks explained that in these two years he has been persecuted, along with his family, in the field staff and even economic, since its foundation accounts have been blocked in various parts of the world.

Furthermore, according to the court record of Sweden, since 2000 they have extradited to all persons required by United States , country in which the activist, based on judgments issued against others who have given similar information to which he gave the world, will surely receive a sentence that would violate human rights or keep him detained for decades.

2 años Assange para el interiorIn response, Assange said that he will remain in the Ecuadorian Embassy as long as necessary to avoid extradition to the United States and thanked Ecuador for the opportunity that they have given him in these two years in order to continue defending freedom and above all, to continue working on their research.

“I’d rather stay in the territory of a country that cares for human rights of refugees, not just Julian Assange”, the communicator, who also stressed that, before requesting protection Ecuador, faced several lawsuits, despite they had no charges against him, they took him even to prison, where he was subjected to isolation methods, so that, upon the recommendation of its lawyers, it is best to remain in Ecuadorian Embassy.

“During this time, we have evidence that England has even planned to forcibly enter the Embassy, has spent $ 11 million to monitor my presence in this place, which prevented the normal development of the staff who work here. While U.S. investigations continue against me, my colleagues are still persecuted. Despite that, Ecuador has not given up on their support and why the people should feel proud”, said Assange.

Due to the situation that Julian Assange is facing, Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño called on the States involved in this case, to act according to international instruments that address the issue and the universal principles that inspired them.

“I also call on the authorities to defend human rights in the UN, Geneva Council, rapporteurs, to all Human rights organizations, and the public in general to defend the rights of Julian Assange. In particular their right to disseminate relevant information to the public when Human Rights are violated, as a journalist, an advocate for Human Rights and citizenship, and their freedom”, said the Minister.

He also addressed to the mass media, to stop its silent, in particular, the daily El Pais, Le Monde, The Guardian, Der Spiegel and The New York Times, who took advantage of the unique information that the Wikileaks organization provided them, to publish it, and get business revenues.

“I mean the deafening silence of which we have witnessed by the journalist community, with few exceptions. You, journalists, rightly claiming the social function of journalism; underlining the importance of precisely public attacks and violations of Human Rights as a means to safeguard them. You, journalists, political persecution witness today against a militant in the cause of freedom of information; and you know, in your case, no warning of this avoidable future involves his companions betray those who suffered repression and death as a result of its commitment to the human species. You cannot allow all of us, we cannot allow that these sacrifices have been in vain”, concluded the Minister.

Speech by Minister Ricardo Patiño