Julian Assange: asylum or refuge? (google translate)

August 2, 1012

If this condition Ecuador offers the founder of Wikileaks, it would also be under the protection of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). This agency could join the Ecuadorian request for England to issue the sa.

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If the Ecuadorian government granted political asylum to the creator of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, the delivery of safe passage from UK to arrive in the country could be one of the greatest difficulties of the process.

So looks Juan Pablo Cadena, a professor at the University of the Americas, who argues that political asylum is recognized in the American system, with the Caracas Convention of 1954 and which states that all countries in Latin America may grant asylum to a person who is persecuted for their political affiliation, as well as for acts or offenses that have a political connection.

But, he finds great difficulty in the case of Assange as the Caracas Convention applies only to the American system, that is for the member countries of the Organization of American States recognizes that international instrument.

“The British do not recognize the Convention and if we ask to be given safe conduct (special permission to leave the Embassy in London to the airport, take a plane and come to Ecuador) they would deny it because they recognize the inter-American system,” says the professor.

He explained that under international law, legal instruments apply only to countries that sign. “Unlike national legal systems, the international legal system is voluntary,” says Cadena.

For this reason, when a state expresses its willingness to be bound legally to an instrument, just there it becomes binding on it, “otherwise would not apply under any circumstances.”

Therefore, Chain is a figure that would be ideal for Assange: the shelter. He argues that this figure is recognized by most states of the United Nations and to give shelter to a person, the citizen must demonstrate a well founded fear that his life is threatened by political affiliation, gender identity, their religion or otherwise injurious to his physical integrity.

“Assange has all reasons to seek refuge, because if tried by the U.S., if you are looking for a connection with obtaining secret documents-as happened to Bradley Mannin-soldier under the Espionage Act of 1917 could be life-threatening, says international law expert, who said that everything could be one cause for the death penalty Assange.

Remember that the creator of WikiLeaks may seek refuge because there are well-founded fear that his life is threatened by a particular legal fact.

But Cadena says there are legal grounds for granting asylum or refuge to Assange. “There is a well-founded fear of dying, for the facts before it could rebuke, which are causal to a shelter or political persecution there, you might even end your life for a crime, crime or action that had defined political objectives.”

For him, the problem is that the government of that country to accept the figure, which ultimately could propose the Ecuadorian government. “The idea that this country would be granted safe conduct and not get arrested in the course of going from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London,” he says.

Clarifies that the Ecuadorian government must be sure that Assange arrives at the country and has no problem or pressure to do so.

If Assange Ecuador grants refugee status, he also would automatically be under the protection of the High Commissioner for Refugees United Nations (UNHCR, for its acronym in English).

In the extreme case that London denies the pass, the UNHCR could intervene and join in the request for that document. Politically it would be difficult to deny the request UK to a United Nations agency.

Without having any connection with the case Assange, the Department of Foreign Refuge explains in general the requirements needed for a person to be recognized as a refugee, and be framed in the Geneva Convention of 1951 and Executive Order 1282 , which was approved on May 30 this year.

Based on this legislation provides that the citizen should have a well-founded fear of persecution because of race, religion, nationality, belonging to a social group or political opinion, and therefore require international protection.

An interagency committee composed of delegates from the Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Justice and Interior, and solve this case. There was reported that according to the decree, which is done is that requests are resolved entering on the same day. The request is made directly to the State.

Former Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon, who leads the defense of Assange, said yesterday he was “concerned about the physical and mental situation of his client. “The tension that is undergoing very large, but is also very worried,” he said. Ecuador will announce its decision in Assange after the London Olympics.


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