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Ricardo Patiño Aroca: Why Ecuador granted Julian Assange political asylum
Telesur English, August 16, 2012 -- The Ecuadorian community in London gathered outside their embassy in London to join Assange's supporters.
By Ricardo Patiño Aroca, Ecuador's foreign minister; translated from the Spanish by WikiLeaks Press
August 16, 2012 -- On June 19, 2012, the Australian national Mr. Julian Assange appeared at the premises of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to request that the Ecuadorean State provide him with diplomatic protection, thus invoking the existing Diplomatic Asylum rules.
The applicant had made his asylum request based on his fear of eventual political persecution by a third country, the same country whom could use his extradition to the Kingdom of Sweden to enable an expedited subsequent extradition.
The Government of Ecuador, faithful to the asylum procedure
Telesur English, August 16, 2012 -- Ecuador's foreign minister Ricardo Patino announces that his government granted political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
It is important to note that Mr. Assange has taken the decision to seek asylum and protection of Ecuador over alleged allegations of “espionage and treason
Ley Orgánica del Servicio Exterior
i) The lack of international agreement or domestic legislation of States cannot legitimately be invoked to limit, impair or deny the right to asylum.
l) All States have a duty to promote the progressive development of international human rights through effective national and international action.
a) United Nations Charter of 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 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 August 12, 1949, relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War: the protected person should in no case be transferred to a country where they fear persecution for his political views ( Article 45);
e) Convention on the Status of Refugees 1951 and Protocol of New York, 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 persecution (Article 4);
g) Convention on Territorial Asylum of 1954: the State is entitled to admit to its territory such persons as it considers necessary (Article 1), when they are persecuted for their beliefs, political opinions or affiliation, or acts that may be considered political offenses ( Article 2), the State granting asylum may not return or expel a refugee who is persecuted for 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 common crimes 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 offense is a political charge (Article 3.1);
i) 2312 Declaration on Territorial Asylum of 1967 provides for the granting of asylum to persons who have that 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 subject to persecution (Article 3.1);
k) American Convention on Human Rights, 1969: right to seek and enjoy asylum for political reasons (Article 22.7);
l) European Convention for the Suppression of Terrorism of 1977, the requested State is entitled to refuse extradition when there is a danger that the person is prosecuted or punished for their political opinions (Article 5);
m) Inter-American Convention on Extradition of 1981, the extradition is not applicable when the person has been tried or convicted, or is to be tried in a court of special or ad hoc in the requesting State (Article 4.3), when, under the classification of the requested State, whether political crimes or related crimes or crimes with a political aim pursued, and when, the circumstances of the case, can be inferred that persecution for reasons of race, religion or nationality; that the situation of the person sought may be prejudiced for any of these reasons (Article 4.5). Article 6 provides, in reference to the right of asylum, that “nothing in this Convention shall be construed as limiting the right of asylum, when appropriate.”
n) African Charter on Human and Peoples of 1981, pursued individual’s right to seek and obtain asylum in other countries (Article 12.3);
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 not represented by the Member State of nationality, have the protection of diplomatic and consular authorities of any Member State, under the same conditions as nationals of that State (Article 46).
[The text above was translated from the official Spanish transcript of today’s press statement issued by Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño Aroca, explaining Ecuador’s decision to grant asylum to Julian Assange. Here is a backup text in case Ecuadorian government website goes down: backup 1, backup 2. This translation was crowd-sourced with the help of @DUVFree, BCK, BM and other anonymous volunteers. Thanks for your contribution! Note: links inserted in brackets have been added by WLPress for reference.]