Diplomatic Asylum

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Ecuador Turns Off Julian Assange’s Internet Access

The world is an awful, terrible place. But sometimes it gives us a nugget so glorious that it really has to be savoured and appreciated. One such nugget is today’s news item that Ecuador had made a ‘sovereign decision’ to restrict the Internet access of Julian Assange, for many years a guest in its London embassy (Guardian and BBC reports here; our previous coverage of various legal issues regarding Assange here). Note the reason Ecuador gave for restricting Assange’s Internet access (which I imagine they are paying for, in any event): respect for the principle of non-intervention. Here’s the Ecuadorian government’s official communique (via Twitter): In recent weeks, WikiLeaks has published a wealth of documents, impacting on the U.S. election campaign. This decision was taken exclusively by that organization. The Government of Ecuador respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states. It does not interfere in external electoral processes, nor does it favor any particular candidate.

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The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention decision on Assange: ‘ridiculous’ or ‘justifiable’?

The UN WGAD Assange decision has been met with general ridicule from British officials, legal academics and the press. This piece seeks to bring some balance to the coverage on this decision, which consistently fails to outline the arguments which persuaded the Working Group. The central argument of Assange’s lawyers’ proceeds on the basis…

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Julian Assange and the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

We should have known. Once Julian Assange publically stated that he would surrender to the UK authorities if the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found against him, it was obvious that the Working Group had done no such thing. And its opinion was released today, to widespread derision among the legal community (at…

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The Political Offense Exception: Punishing Whistleblowers Abroad

Dr. Mark D. Kielsgard, is an Assistant Professor of Law at City University of Hong Kong.     On June 14, 2013, the U.S. lodged a criminal complaint against Edward Snowden for theft of government property and espionage after he had fled the country. Snowden is seen by many as a hero and modern whistleblower. Protecting whistleblowers…

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The Sheer Awfulness of Julian Assange

Julian Assange gave an interview to the BBC yesterday – available here – which I commend to readers; it’s only 10 minutes long. Assange has of course had a long history of Messianic self-victimization and refusing to submit to legal process in Sweden and the UK on charges of sexual assault. I won’t even go…

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