WikiLeaks says British raid threat 'hostile, extreme'

Whistleblowing website Wikileaks on Thursday condemned a British threat to raid Ecuador's London embassy
Whistleblowing website Wikileaks on Thursday condemned a British threat to raid Ecuador's London embassy, where its founder Julian Assange is hiding, as a "hostile and extreme" assault on asylum-seekers.

Whistleblowing website WikiLeaks on Thursday condemned a British threat to raid the Ecuador embassy in London where its founder is holed up as a "hostile and extreme" assault on asylum-seekers.

" condemns in the strongest possible terms the UK's resort to intimidation," it said in a statement.

"A threat of this nature is a hostile and extreme act, which is not proportionate to the circumstances, and an unprecedented assault on the rights of asylum-seekers worldwide."

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, an Australian national, has been in the embassy since June in a bid to avoid to Sweden, where he faces questioning over sex assault claims.

The Australian fears Stockholm will turn him over to the United States where he could face and conspiracy charges over revelations by his website.

Ecuador Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino earlier said Britain had threatened to "storm our embassy if Ecuador does not hand over Julian Assange".

WikiLeaks said the embassy was currently surrounded by police "in a menacing show of force".

"Any transgression against the sanctity of the embassy is a unilateral and shameful act, and a violation of the Vienna Convention, which protects embassies worldwide," it said.

"This threat is designed to preempt Ecuador's imminent decision on whether it will grant political asylum, and to bully Ecuador into a decision that is agreeable to the United Kingdom and its allies.

"We remind the public that these extraordinary actions are being taken to detain a man who has not been charged with any crime in any country," it added.

A British Foreign Office spokesman has said police were ready to arrest Assange for breaching the terms of his bail granted in 2010.

"The UK has a to extradite Mr Assange to Sweden to face questioning over allegations of sexual offenses and we remain determined to fulfill this obligation," the spokesman said in London.

WikiLeaks noted that the tougher stance by London coincided with British Foreign Secretary William Hague standing in for Prime Minister David Cameron while he was on vacation.

It claimed Hague's department, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, had overseen the negotiations to date with Ecuador.

"If Mr Hague has, as would be expected, approved this decision, WikiLeaks calls for his immediate resignation," it said.

Assange's mother earlier Thursday claimed the United States was behind the British threat.

"What the US wants, the US gets from its allies, regardless of if it's legal or if it's ethical or in breach of human or legal rights," she told reporters in Australia.

Patino said Ecuador "has made a decision" on whether to grant Assange asylum and would announce it at 1200 GMT Thursday.


Explore further

Garzon: Assange is neither pirate nor terrorist

(c) 2012 AFP

Citation: WikiLeaks says British raid threat 'hostile, extreme' (2012, August 16) retrieved 15 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-08-wikileaks-british-raid-threat-hostile.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Aug 16, 2012
Ecuador took on the zionst loansharking cartel and won. England is in the death throes now that it's military colony the US can't even get by on 0% interest loans and the world is dumping the US as a reserve currency regarded as ton of gold but was only ounce of brass.

Aug 16, 2012
Raiding an embassy is a very bad precedent, and will lead to the discontinuance of embassies and staff as we once knew it. All will start raiding embassies as it is now a sanctioned tool of any state once the stupid Brits did it. Lots of Brit embassies probably have MI-5,6,7,8, and whatever on their staffs but are really spies. Even the supposition or imagination of this can now be grounds for countries raiding Brit embassies by deadly force if necessary using national troops of the 'host' countries. Pakistan may well be the first country to do this, and parade the severed heads of the supposed 'spies' they found in front of mobs of Lashkar-e-Taiba ultras. Brits opened a bad Pandora's box.

Aug 16, 2012
They are bluffing. The US wouldn't be stupid enough to have the embassy stormed (no one is fooled into thinking that this move to arrest Assange originated with the Brits, right?)


Aug 16, 2012
Just bluffing out loud of such a move demonstrates what true kind of mentality is there- all actions first stemmed from thoughts. Civilized behaviors and laws is seemingly going down the drain everywhere, from ME, Africa,the Pacific, now UK.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more