Declaration of the Government of the Republic of Ecuador on the asylum application of Julian Assange

Google translate – Declaration of the Government of the Republic of Ecuador on the asylum application of Julian Assange

On 19 June 2012, the Australian national citizen Julian Assange, appeared in the local Embassy of Ecuador in London, to request diplomatic protection of the Ecuadorian State to benefit from the existing rules on Diplomatic Asylum. The applicant has based its request on the fear that it causes the eventual political persecution that could result in a third country, it could use his extradition to the Kingdom of Sweden for turn further extradition to that country.

The Government of Ecuador, true to the asylum procedure, and attach the utmost seriousness in this case, has reviewed and evaluated all aspects involved in it, particularly the arguments presented by Mr. Assange to support the fear he feels in a situation that this person perceives as a threat to life, personal safety and freedom.

It is important to note that Mr. Assange has made the decision to apply for asylum and protection in Ecuador over allegations that it says, have been made by alleged “espionage and treason”, which exposes the citizen who inspires fear the possibility of being handed over to the authorities of the United States of America by the British, Swedish and Australian, for this is a country, said Mr Assange, who chases him through the declassification of information embarrassing to the U.S. government. Is also the applicant, “is being persecuted in various countries, which derives not only from their ideas and their actions, but their work to publish information that engages the powerful, to publish the truth and, with Thus, exposing corruption and severe human rights abuses of citizens around the world. “

Therefore, for the applicant, the imputation of political offenses is the foundation of his asylum claim, because in his opinion, is faced with a situation involving imminent danger to him he can not resist. In order to explain the fear he instills a possible political persecution, and that this possibility end up becoming a situation of prejudice and violation of their rights, and risk to their personal safety, and freedom, the Government of Ecuador considered it following:

Julian Assange is an award-winning communications professional internationally for his fight for freedom of expression, press freedom and human rights in general;
That Mr. Assange shared with the global public documentary privileged information was generated by various sources, and affected officials, countries and organizations;
That there are serious indications of retaliation by the country or countries that produced the information disclosed by Mr. Assange, retaliation could jeopardize their safety, integrity, and even his life;
That, despite the diplomatic initiatives taken by Ecuador, countries which have required sufficient safeguards to protect the security and life of Mr. Assange, have refused to facilitate them;
That, it is certain that the Ecuadorian authorities feasible Mr. Assange extradition to a third country outside the EU without adequate guarantees for their safety and personal integrity;
That legal evidence clearly shows that, given an extradition to the United States of America, Mr. Assange would not have a fair trial, could be tried by special courts or military, and it is not implausible that is applied to cruel and degrading , and was condemned to life imprisonment or the death penalty, which would not respect their human rights;
That while Mr. Assange must answer for open research in Sweden, Ecuador is aware that the Swedish prosecutor has had a contradictory attitude that prevented Mr. Assange the full exercise of the legitimate right of defense;
Ecuador is convinced that they have undermined the procedural rights of Mr. Assange during the investigation;
Ecuador has found that Mr. Assange is without protection and assistance they should receive from the State of which he is a citizen;
That, following several public statements and diplomatic communications made by officials from Britain, Sweden and the United States of America, it is inferred that these governments would not respect international conventions and treaties, and domestic laws would prioritize secondary hierarchy, rules breach express universal application and,
That, if Mr. Assange is reduced to custody in Sweden (as is customary in this country), would start a chain of events which would prevent further protective measures taken to avoid possible extradition to a third country.

Thus, the Government of Ecuador considers that these arguments lend support to Julian Assange fears, while this may be a victim of political persecution because of his defense decided in favor of freedom of expression and freedom of press and repudiation of his position to abuse that power tends to run in certain countries, aspects that suggest that Mr. Assange, at any time, there may be a situation likely to endanger their lives, safety or integrity personnel. This fear has been warned to exercise their human right to seek and receive asylum in the Embassy of Ecuador in the UK.

Article 41 of the Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador clearly defines the right of asylum. Under this provision, in Ecuador are fully recognized the rights of asylum and refugee status in accordance with the law and international human rights instruments. According to this constitutional provision:

“People who are in situations of asylum and refugee shall enjoy special protection to ensure the full exercise of their rights. The State shall respect and ensure the principle of non-refoulement, as well as legal and humanitarian emergency. “

Similarly, the right to asylum is recognized in Article 4.7 of the Foreign Service Act of 2006, which determines the ability of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Integration of Ecuador to hear cases of diplomatic asylum, according to the laws, treaties, law and international practice.

It should be emphasized that our country has been highlighted in recent years by hosting a large number of people who have applied for asylum or refugee territorial, having unreservedly respected the principle of non-discrimination and, while it has taken steps to provide refugee status in an expeditious manner, taking into account the circumstances of applicants, mostly Colombians fleeing the armed conflict in their country. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has praised Ecuador’s refugee policy, and highlighted the significant fact that the country has not been confined to camps for these people, but have been integrated into society, full enjoyment of their human rights and guarantees.

The Ecuador places the right of asylum in the universal catalog of human rights and believes, therefore, that the effective implementation of this right requires international cooperation that may lend our countries, without which his statement would be fruitless, and the institution would be completely ineffective. For these reasons, and recalling the obligation of all States have undertaken to assist in the protection and promotion of human rights, as provided by the Charter of the United Nations, the British Government invited to provide their quota to achieve this purpose.

To this effect, Ecuador has been shown that, in the course of analysis of legal institutions related to asylum, that the formation of this law concur fundamental principles of general international law, the same as for its importance and have universal value, saved because line with the general interest of the entire international community, and have the full recognition by all States. These principles, which are referred to in various international instruments, are as follows:

a) The asylum, in all its forms, is a fundamental human right which creates obligations erga omnes, that is, “for all” states.

b) The diplomatic asylum, shelter (or territorial asylum), and the right not to be extradited, expelled, delivered or transferred, human rights are comparable, since they are based on the same principles of human protection: no return and no discrimination without any adverse distinction based on race, color, sex, language, religion or belief, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, or any other similar criteria.

c) All these forms of protection are governed by the principles pro person (ie, more favorable to the individual), equality, universality, indivisibility, interrelatedness and interdependence.

d) The protection occurs when the state of asylum, refugee or required, or the protecting power, consider the risk or the fear that the protected person may be a victim of political persecution or political offenses against him.

e) The State granting asylum seekers qualify causes, and in case of extradition, assess evidence.

f) No matter which of its forms or forms are present, the seeker is always the same cause and the same legal order, ie, political persecution, which causes it lawful, and safeguard the life, personal safety and freedom of protected person, which is the lawful purpose.

g) The right to asylum is a fundamental human right, therefore, belongs to jus cogens, ie the system of mandatory rules of law recognized by the international community as a whole, do not support a contrary agreement, being null treaties and provisions of international law they oppose.

h) In cases not covered by the law in force, the human person remains under the protection of the principles of humanity and the dictates of public conscience, or are under the protection and authority of the principles of international law derived from established custom, from the principles of humanity and from the dictates of public conscience.

i) Lack of international agreement or domestic legislation of States can not legitimately claim to limit, impair or deny the right to asylum.

j) The rules and principles governing the rights to asylum, extradition no, no delivery, no expulsion and transfer are not converging, as far as is necessary to improve the protection and provide it with maximum efficiency. In this sense they are complementary international law of human rights, the right to asylum and refugee law, and humanitarian law.

k) The rights of protection of the human person are based on ethical principles and values universally accepted and therefore have a humanistic, social, solidarity, welfare, peaceful and humanitarian.

l) All States have the duty to promote the progressive development of international law of human rights through effective national and international action.

Ecuador considers that the law applicable to the case of Mr. Julian Assange asylum comprises the entire set of principles, rules, mechanisms and procedures under international human rights instruments (whether regional or universal) which include among their provisions the right to seek, receive and enjoy asylum for political reasons, the conventions governing the right of asylum and refugee law, and recognizing the right not to be delivered, returned, or expelled when founded fear of persecution political conventions governing extradition law and recognize the right not to be extradited when this measure conceal political persecution, and conventions governing humanitarian law, and to recognize the right to be transferred when there is a risk of persecution policy. All these forms of asylum and international protection are justified by the need to protect this person from a possible political persecution, or a possible accusation of political crimes and / or crimes related to the latter, which, in the opinion of Ecuador, not only endanger Mr. Assange, but also pose a serious injustice committed against him.

Undeniably States, having contracted in so numerous and substantive international instruments-many of them-legally binding obligation to provide protection or asylum to persons persecuted for political reasons, have expressed their willingness to establish a legal institution protection human rights and fundamental freedoms, based on a general practice accepted as law, which he attributes to such obligations as mandatory, erga omnes, to be linked to the respect, protection and progressive development of human rights and fundamental freedoms, are part of jus cogens. Some of these instruments are mentioned below:

a) Charter of the United Nations, 1945, Purposes and Principles of the United Nations: the obligation of all members to cooperate in the promotion and protection of human rights;

b) Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948: right to seek and enjoy asylum in any country, for political reasons (Article 14);

c) Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, 1948: right to seek and enjoy asylum for political reasons (Article 27);

d) Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War: in no case be transferred to the protected person to a country where they fear persecution because of their political views ( Article 45);

e) Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951 and the New York Protocol of 1967: prohibits returning or expelling refugees to countries where their lives and freedom would be threatened (Art. 33.1);

f) Convention on Diplomatic Asylum, 1954: the state has the right to grant asylum and classify the nature of the offense or the motives of the persecution (Article 4);

g) Convention on Territorial Asylum of 1954: the state has the right to admit to its territory to persons it deems appropriate (Article 1), when they are persecuted for their beliefs, opinions or political affiliation, or acts that could be considered political crimes ( Article 2), the State granting asylum can not return or expel the asylum which is haunted by political reasons or offenses (Article 3), also, extradition is not appropriate when dealing with people who, according to the requested State, be prosecuted for political crimes , or for offenses committed for political purposes, or when extradition is requested obeying political motives (Article 4);

h) European Convention on Extradition of 1957 prohibits extradition if the requested Party considers that the alleged offense is of a political nature (Article 3.1);

i) 2312 Declaration on Territorial Asylum of 1967 provides for the granting of asylum to persons who have the right under Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including persons struggling against colonialism (Article 1.1). It prohibits the refusal of admission, expulsion and return to any State where he may be subjected to persecution (Article 3.1);

j) Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969 provides that the rules and principles of general international law imperatives no derogation is permitted, the treaty is void upon its conclusion conflicts with one of these rules (Article 53), and if a new peremptory norm of this character, any existing treaty which is in conflict with this rule is null and is terminated (Article 64). Regarding the application of these articles, the Convention allows States to demand compliance with the International Court of Justice, without requiring the agreement of the respondent State, accepting the court’s jurisdiction (Article 66.b). Human rights are norms of jus cogens.

k) American Convention on Human Rights, 1969: right to seek and enjoy asylum for political reasons (Article 22.7);

l) European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism of 1977: the requested State is empowered to refuse extradition if there is a danger that the person is prosecuted or punished for their political views (Article 5);

m) Inter-American Convention on Extradition of 1981: extradition is not appropriate when the person has been tried or convicted, or is to be tried in a court of special jurisdiction in the requesting State (Article 4.3), when, according to the rating of the requested State, be it political crimes or related crimes or common crimes prosecuted with a political purpose, when the circumstances of the case, it may be inferred that persecution for reasons of race, religion or nationality, or that the situation of the person sought may be prejudiced for any of these reasons (Article 4.5). Article 6 states, in reference to the right of asylum, that “nothing in this Convention shall be construed as limiting the right of asylum when its appropriate.”

n) African Charter on Human and Peoples 1981: pursued individual’s right to seek and obtain asylum in other countries (Article 12.3);

o) Cartagena Declaration of 1984 recognizes the right to shelter, to not be rejected at the border and not be returned.

p) Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union 2000: establishes the right of diplomatic and consular protection. Every citizen of the Union shall, in the territory of a third country that is not represented by the Member State of nationality, to the protection of the diplomatic and consular authorities of any Member State under the same conditions as nationals of that State (Article 46).

The Government of Ecuador considers important to note that the rules and principles enshrined in the international instruments cited, and other multilateral agreements take precedence over domestic law of States, because these treaties are based on targeted legislation universalizing intangible principles of which derives greater respect, protection and fulfillment of human rights against unilateral attitudes of such States. This would compromise international law, which should rather be strengthened, so that respect for fundamental rights is consolidated based on their integration and ecumenical.

Moreover, since Julian Assange sought political asylum in Ecuador, have remained high-level diplomatic talks with the UK, Sweden and USA.

In the course of these conversations, our country has appealed to the UK get stricter guarantees that Julian Assange front, unobstructed, open legal process in Sweden. These guarantees include that once aired their legal responsibilities in Sweden and not be extradited to a third country, that is, the assurance that the figure does not apply specialty. Unfortunately, despite the repeated exchanges of texts, the UK at no time showed signs of wanting political compromises, simply repeating the content of legal texts.

Julian Assange’s lawyers asked the Swedish justice take Julian Assange’s statements on the premises of the Embassy of Ecuador in London. The Ecuador officially moved to the Swedish authorities willing to provide this interview with the intention not to interfere with or obstruct the legal process followed in Sweden. This measure is perfect and legally possible. Sweden did not accept it.

On the other hand, Ecuador auscultated the possibility that the Swedish government guarantees established to not extradite Assange in sequence to the United States. Again, the Swedish government rejected any compromise in this regard.

Finally, Ecuador wrote to the U.S. government to officially unveil its position on the Assange case. Inquiries related to the following:

If there is an ongoing legal process or intend to carry out such a process against Julian Assange and / or Wikileaks founders of the organization;
Should the above be true, what kind of law, under what conditions and under what maximum penalties would be subject such persons;
If there is an intention to request the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States.

The U.S. response has been that it can not provide information about the Assange case, saying it is a bilateral issue between Ecuador and the United Kingdom.

With this background, the Government of Ecuador, true to its tradition of protecting those who seek refuge in its territory or on the premises of diplomatic missions, has decided to grant diplomatic asylum to citizen Julian Assange, based on the application submitted to the President of the Republic, by written notice, dated in London on June 19, 2012, and supplemented by a communication dated in London on June 25, 2012, for which the Government of Ecuador, after a fair and objective assessment of the situation described by Mr. Assange, according to their own words and arguments, endorses recurring fears, and assumes that there are indications that it may be presumed that there may be political persecution, or could occur such persecution if measures are not taken timely and necessary to avoid it.

The Government of Ecuador is certain that the British Government will know justice and righteousness assess the Ecuadorian position, and in line with these arguments, is confident that the UK will provide as soon as possible or safe conduct guarantees necessary and relevant to the refugee situation, so that their governments can honor their acts they owe fidelity to law and international institutions that both nations have helped shape along their common history.
It also hopes to maintain unchanged the excellent ties of friendship and mutual respect that bind to Ecuador and the United Kingdom and their people, engaged as they are in the promotion and defense of these principles and values, and because they share similar concerns about the democracy, peace, Good Living, which are possible only if they respect the fundamental rights of all.

PRESS No. 042

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