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Julian Assange is being 'arbritarily detained' by the UK government... Really? Watch

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    (Original post by Rinsed)
    That is such ********.

    He will be arrested as soon as he re-enters British jurisdiction, which is perfectly reasonable and would be the same for any criminal or bail-skipper. The fact that he can't leave the embassy without entering British jurisdiction is very much his problem. He can't expect to just walk free on British streets because he has the support of one single foreign government.
    Yes, I accept this, but by the same token, as long as he is in the embassy he is being confined extrajudicially by Britain beyond its borders.

    Therefore there are two possibilities for Assange:
    1. Britain continues to exert extrajudicial influence beyond its borders, thanks to the geography, to confine him in the Ecuadorian embassy, similarly to if he had been imprisoned under the rule of law on British territory.
    2. Ecuador exerts influence beyond its borders to get Assange out over British land, either under agreed immunity from the arrest warrant (i.e. diplomacy) or sneaking him out (i.e. extrajudicial influence beyond its borders).

    Most importantly, you will note the present situation 1 - not the putative situation 2 - is what the UN are commenting on.

    And you will note 2, if it were to happen, could be achieved diplomatically, by the UK agreeing with Ecuador dispensation for safe passage; it need not be achieved extrajudicially.

    Equally, I concede, 1 could be achieved diplomatically too, by Ecuador acceding to the British arrest warrant and extraditing Assange, whence (subject to trial) he would be confined lawfully in a British prison.
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    I used to have this massive crush on him. He used to look so much sexier for sure. But if he has committed sex crimes,it is time for him to face justice.
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    Yes, I accept this, but by the same token, as long as he is in the embassy he is being confined extrajudicially by Britain beyond its borders.

    Therefore there are two possibilities for Assange:
    1. Britain continues to exert extrajudicial influence beyond its borders, thanks to the geography, to confine him in the Ecuadorian embassy, similarly to if he had been imprisoned under the rule of law on British territory.
    2. Ecuador exerts influence beyond its borders to get Assange out over British land, either under agreed immunity from the arrest warrant (i.e. diplomacy) or sneaking him out (i.e. extrajudicial influence beyond its borders).

    Most importantly, you will note the present situation 1 - not the putative situation 2 - is what the UN are commenting on.

    And you will note 2, if it were to happen, could be achieved diplomatically, by the UK agreeing with Ecuador dispensation for safe passage; it need not be achieved extrajudicially.

    Equally, I concede, 1 could be achieved diplomatically too, by Ecuador acceding to the British arrest warrant and extraditing Assange, whence (subject to trial) he would be confined lawfully in a British prison.
    Two points: if he is in another country then he's broken the conditions of his bail, and that is by itself grounds for his arrest. Secondly, what exactly is your proposed solution? Are you suggesting that because Ecuador has granted asylum that supercedes a valid arrest warrant? That would set a very dangerous precedent.
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    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    Two points: if he is in another country then he's broken the conditions of his bail, and that is by itself grounds for his arrest. Secondly, what exactly is your proposed solution? Are you suggesting that because Ecuador has granted asylum that supercedes a valid arrest warrant? That would set a very dangerous precedent.
    In Ecuador Ecuador's word is law, and it absolutely supersedes those things. A British/European arrest warrant, and the terms of a British/European bail, are meaningless in Ecuador unless Ecuador chooses to recognise them - which it is plainly not disposed to do. Indeed if it did it would clearly be unfair and personally targeted at Assange, since Ecuador does not routinely extradite to the UK and certainly does not have a treaty.

    What would set a dangerous precedent would be 1. Ecuador acceding to a British/European arrest warrant which has no legal validity in Ecuador, and 2. Ecuador extraordinarily extraditing a specific person due to political pressure.

    Britain, equally, can arrest Assange if he steps onto British territory, where what you say about the arrest warrant and breaching his bail conditions applies. However, due to the specific geography, the present situation is that Britain can keep Assange confined in the embassy more or less as if he were in a British prison. Britain's influence in this matter extends beyond its jurisdiction and results in an extrajudicial confinement.

    As I say, if Ecuador sneaked him out over British land that would be Ecuador exerting extrajudicial influence outside its borders so that would be just as bad. However the UN report is talking about the present situation, not a putative future one.
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    Why does the British justice system take precedence over Ecuador's?

    Assange absconded out of British jurisdiction. Only countries with an extradition treaty systematically extend British jurisdiction elsewhere. Ecuador has sovereignty and can choose to engage with the international community in whatever way it likes.

    It's not sad that Ecuador isn't "honouring" what other countries want to do with people. Ecuador didn't sign up to anything in the first place; how can it honour an agreement to which it is not party? What would be sad is if Ecuador felt pressured to give up its sovereign will just because Britain and Sweden are more powerful counrries.

    And whatever moral outrage you feel about Assange absconding is even more firmly beside the point.

    He is on the run from the BRITISH police. People on conditional bail are under BRITISH jurisdiction at the time. Neither of these things are worth diddly squat outside Britain's borders unless the other country is gracious enough to recognise them - or unless Britain sends in the cavalry.

    This is why Assange's confinement is a diplomatic issue. Britain is exerting influence on Assange extrajudicially beyond its borders by virtue of its natural geography. It is essentially a gunboat.
    No, Assange is not in Ecuador - he is in Ecuadorian embassy - embassies are nothing like enclaves; Ecuadorian embassy is still under jurisdiction of UK. In theory UK could revoke recognition of the embassy, enter the territory and arrest Assange; of course that won't happen because no one has any interest in causing a massive international incident over Assange
    Even if he was in an Ecuadorian enclave within UK, UK would have no requirement to allow him safe passage as long as there was arrest warrant against him active in UK.
    Lesson here is quite simple. if you're planning on hiding in an embassy to avoid rape charges, choose one with a helipad not a middle floor flat.
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    (Original post by swanderfeild)
    No, Assange is not in Ecuador - he is in Ecuadorian embassy - embassies are nothing like enclaves; Ecuadorian embassy is still under jurisdiction of UK. In theory UK could revoke recognition of the embassy, enter the territory and arrest Assange; of course that won't happen because no one has any interest in causing a massive international incident over Assange
    Even if he was in an Ecuadorian enclave within UK, UK would have no requirement to allow him safe passage as long as there was arrest warrant against him active in UK.
    Lesson here is quite simple. if you're planning on hiding in an embassy to avoid rape charges, choose one with a helipad not a middle floor flat.
    Thanks for the clarification, however, surely Assange has immunity equivalent to if he were in an Ecuadorian enclave as long as the UK continues to recognise the embassy.

    I agree that if he were in an Ecuadorian enclave he would not be allowed safe passage, but you have to factor in that most enclaves are big enough to lead a full life in. The embassy is tiny so life in it is like being in prison, which is why I am using the word confinement.

    This seems to be the crucial externality that the UN has recognised.

    A helipad would get him out, but for the purposes of the philosophical discussion we are having over this it would not be a lawful way of doing it, in my view just as bad extrajudicial action as what the UK is doing by confining Assange.

    Wikipedia says in 2013 Roger Pinto left the Brazilian embassy in Bolivia in a diplomatic car and drove to Brazil without safe passage given by Bolivia. Could this be a lawful escape route for Assange: does diplomatic immunity extend to people inside a diplomatic car? Or was the escape unlawful?
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    In Ecuador Ecuador's word is law, and it absolutely supersedes those things. A British/European arrest warrant, and the terms of a British/European bail, are meaningless in Ecuador unless Ecuador chooses to recognise them - which it is plainly not disposed to do. Indeed if it did it would clearly be unfair and personally targeted at Assange, since Ecuador does not routinely extradite to the UK and certainly does not have a treaty.

    What would set a dangerous precedent would be 1. Ecuador acceding to a British/European arrest warrant which has no legal validity in Ecuador, and 2. Ecuador extraordinarily extraditing a specific person due to political pressure.

    Britain, equally, can arrest Assange if he steps onto British territory, where what you say about the arrest warrant and breaching his bail conditions applies. However, due to the specific geography, the present situation is that Britain can keep Assange confined in the embassy more or less as if he were in a British prison. Britain's influence in this matter extends beyond its jurisdiction and results in an extrajudicial confinement.

    As I say, if Ecuador sneaked him out over British land that would be Ecuador exerting extrajudicial influence outside its borders so that would be just as bad. However the UN report is talking about the present situation, not a putative future one.
    So I say again: what is your solution? We live in the real world. Assange does not wish to remain in Ecuador (or at least the portion he is currently in). As it is entirely surrounded by British territory that means to leave Ecuador he must return to the UK. If he were not arrested on his return then that would set the precedent that the asylum he has been granted supercedes a legal arrest warrant, and set the precedent that fugitives from justice need only pop into an embassy and be granted asylum to escape the country. Or they arrest him, which is the status quo. There is no third option.

    Ecuador don't actually need to extradite him either; they merely have to insist he leaves their territory. The result would clearly be the same, but it would only be an extradition if they arrested him and delivered him into the care of the UK government.
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    (Original post by CurlyBen)
    So I say again: what is your solution? We live in the real world. Assange does not wish to remain in Ecuador (or at least the portion he is currently in). As it is entirely surrounded by British territory that means to leave Ecuador he must return to the UK. If he were not arrested on his return then that would set the precedent that the asylum he has been granted supercedes a legal arrest warrant, and set the precedent that fugitives from justice need only pop into an embassy and be granted asylum to escape the country. Or they arrest him, which is the status quo. There is no third option.
    His asylum does supersede an arrest warrant while he is in Ecuador (subject, as swanderfeild said above, to the UK's continued recognition of the embassy).

    Note I am not saying the UK should offer him safe passage so he can escape the country from the embassy. I am merely saying that the UN's assessment that, due to the geography of the situation, the UK is able to confine Assange beyond its borders, is valid.

    Ecuador don't actually need to extradite him either; they merely have to insist he leaves their territory. The result would clearly be the same, but it would only be an extradition if they arrested him and delivered him into the care of the UK government.
    True, this is a route out for Ecuador whereby they could skirt accusations of having targeted Assange specifically.
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    Because he is in Ecuador.



    The problem is that due to the geography by enforcing their law on their territory they are also projecting their law onto Ecuadorian territory in such a way that Assange ends up confined remarkably like if he were detained in a British prison.

    This is exactly why when countries get repartitioned after wars they make sure they are not boxed in. Croatia, for example, holds the entire Adriatic coast, except for the port of Neum which gives Bosnia access to the sea. If this arrangement didn't exist, Croatia could blockade Bosnia.



    Of course he didn't:
    1. He's not presently in the EU/UK
    2. It's the EU/UK that has a warrant out for him so of course they're not going to let him off

    And it doesn't matter a jot if Assange got himself into this situation or if he was forced into it.
    Him 'being in Ecuador' has no relevance to the UK. It's a stalemate- both sides are projecting themselves onto the other. It's not unreasonable for a country to say that it will arrest a wanted fugitive if he steps foot on their soil. The only thing that matters is whether of not the UK has a legitimate right to arrest him. Britain isn't just randomly arbritarily blockading a country. Absolute freedom of movement doesn't exist, otherwise we wouldn't have borders or prisons. Assange has no inherent right to be able to escape justice simply by fleeing to an embassy.

    It doesn't matter if he's not in the EU/UK. You don't have to be to bring a matter before the courts because his claim would be against the UK government. His legal team could do it for him. But he knows his human rights claim is bogus and is superseded by the UK's right to arrest him, so instead of a court of law he went and got a UN panel of fluffy academics to cry him a river.
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)

    And it doesn't matter a jot if Assange got himself into this situation or if he was forced into it.
    He shouldn't have broken the law then


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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    Why does the British justice system take precedence over Ecuador's?

    Assange absconded out of British jurisdiction. Only countries with an extradition treaty systematically extend British jurisdiction elsewhere. Ecuador has sovereignty and can choose to engage with the international community in whatever way it likes.
    So if a British citizen went and shot somebody in Ecuador and then ran in to the British embassy and the UK government refused to hand him over, would you regard that as unfair detention for the Ecuador government?

    Should he be granted safe access to an airport so he could get back to the UK and avoid justice?
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    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    So if a British citizen went and shot somebody in Ecuador and then ran in to the British embassy and the UK government refused to hand him over, would you regard that as unfair detention for the Ecuador government?

    Should he be granted safe access to an airport so he could get back to the UK and avoid justice?
    I would probably not be impressed by the UK but yes I suppose it would be the same situation.

    I have not said Assange should be granted safe passage, I have merely presented it as an option that is roughly equivalent to Ecuador handing him over i.e. both involve special dispensation achieved by diplomatic negotiation.

    With regards to Assange's crime (since you are comparing it to cold-blooded murder), although it is immaterial to the present discussion, isn't it clear that it was a sting?

    The thing has been diplomatic from the start, as opposed to a random man committing a random crime and randomly walking into an embassy. I think this is what causes me to have a natural sympathy for Assange which I would not have for the murderer in your example.
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    Imagine that an alleged criminal in the eu takes flight and managed to reach Switzerland . Also imagine either that aircraft have not been invented or some threat has grounded all air traffic.

    Is that fugitive imprisoned by the European authorities? The only way out is overland through Europe
    Or are we arguing that it is the size of the embassy that contributes to his claim of imprisonment?

    Technically a helipad means that the helicopter might have to get diplomatic immunity, but where is he going in a helicopter? At some point he has to leave the "bubble" and try to get onto an aircraft. He, as JA , does not have diplomatic immunity. Granting him immunity would be a massive scale up of pushing boundaries that would have repro unions throughout the diplomatic community. Even boxing him up in a crate and claiming that the box is a diplomatic bag and therefore immune from being opened, does not prevent the box from being scanned . If the scanner detects a human breathing or a heartbeat then it would be open as again that is a breach of the diplomatic rules.
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    That UN panel has no legal authority.


    (Original post by Aj12)
    Given that he is hiding from legitimate arrest, from a legitimate warrant, does not mean someone in prison would also be able to file for arbitrarily detainment?
    Very contentious.
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    Underlying all of this is the position on refoulement which seems very obscure. It has been raised in the UN report but without any clear answer.

    Normally Britain is very firm that if we extradite someone for one offence, you can't then try him for another offence and you can't refoule him (ie extradite him to a 3rd country) to be tried there. Unless you have those rules, all the safeguards in the extradition process are worthless.

    The reason Ecuador gave for giving him asylum in the first place is that Ecuador said that Assange did not have sufficient protection against being refouled from Sweden to the USA.

    Assange's stated reason for hiding in the Embassy is his fear of refoulement which he says may occur.

    One would expect that if Assange was not tried and convicted in Sweden and he was not refouled, Sweden would deport him, in which case he could travel to anywhere that would receive him (and obviously Australia as his country of citizenship must accept him).

    The USA has not sought his extradition from the UK.

    So the fundamental questions ought to be very easy to answer. Has Sweden given the UK and Ecuador a diplomatic assurance that it will not refoule him to the USA. If not, why not? Has the UK said it would not require any assurance that Sweden would not refoule him, and if so, why?

    Remarkably, apart from Assange's supporters' wild accusations, there seems to be nothing authoritative here from either the UK or Swedish governments.

    If Assange does run the risk of refoulement, then there is something in the UN's accusation. If he doesn't, and Assange is inventing an unrealistic risk, there is really no reason why Ecuador doesn't turf him onto the street.
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    (Original post by scrotgrot)
    With regards to Assange's crime (since you are comparing it to cold-blooded murder), although it is immaterial to the present discussion, isn't it clear that it was a sting?
    If its a sting then he should stop all this now by going to Sweden and prove his innocence.

    This is the Swedish legal system, its not like extraditing him to face a court in Zimbabwe or North Korea.
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    (Original post by MagicNMedicine)
    If its a sting then he should stop all this now by going to Sweden and prove his innocence.

    This is the Swedish legal system, its not like extraditing him to face a court in Zimbabwe or North Korea.
    Can Sweden promise not to extradite him to the U.S. once they clear him of the trumped-up charges against him?
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    (Original post by walking in sand)
    Can Sweden promise not to extradite him to the U.S. once they clear him of the trumped-up charges against him?
    He's burned his own bridges.

    The prosecution case will argue that he has a history of jumping bail and absconding and therefore will request holding him in remand or at least under house arrest if such a thing exists in Sweden.

    The Americans have justification for extradition to face charges of actively encouraging, promoting and actual disclosure of state secrets.

    If he did this to Russia, Mr Assange will have sipped his last cup of tea in a restaurant several years ago and will by now be buried in a lead lined sarcophagus - inside Chernobyl.
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    (Original post by uberteknik)
    The Americans have justification for extradition to face charges of actively encouraging, promoting and actual disclosure of state secrets.

    If he did this to Russia, Mr Assange will have sipped his last cup of tea in a restaurant several years ago and will by now be buried in a lead lined sarcophagus - inside Chernobyl.
    And you'd have been cheering them all the way, no doubt.
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    (Original post by uberteknik)
    The Americans have justification for extradition to face charges of actively encouraging, promoting and actual disclosure of state secrets.
    He's not a US government employee "obliged to withhold classified documents", thus there is no legal precedent for such a prosecution (for espionage).


    i think the closest analogy is US v Franklin, which failed (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/02/us...s/02aipac.html)
 
 
 
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