The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, runs the risk that Ecuador will stop granting protection at its embassy in London if it receives “pressures,” Efe told her legal team Melinda Taylor, who believes that in that case an extradition process to the United States.
“In legal terms, Ecuador has recognized Assange’s right to asylum, so it cannot ask him to leave the embassy without first obtaining guarantees that the United Kingdom will maintain that right, or that he will ensure his protection against a surrender to United States, “said the lawyer.
“Politically, however, there is always the risk that Ecuador will break its legal obligations and duties with Assange if it is subjected to significant pressure,” Taylor said.
The views expressed by the Australian on the situation in Catalonia and on the relations between the United Kingdom and Russia have muddied his relationship with the Ecuadorian authorities, who at the end of March restricted the communications and the regime of visits to the embassy.
Despite these tensions, Taylor hopes that “in the light of Ecuador’s long-standing commitment to the notion of political asylum under international law,” “respect for the principles of fundamental human rights will prevail.”
For the lawyer, if any government has pressured Quito to take action against the activist, it would be “a worrying attack on the freedom of expression” of his client.
Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorian legation of the British capital in June 2012 to avoid being delivered to Sweden, which claimed him for various sexual crimes.
Stockholm withdrew those accusations last year, but British justice continues to demand that he should be brought before a court for violating the terms of its parole when it was locked up in the embassy.
Assange fears that once he is in the hands of the justice of the United Kingdom, Washington will request his extradition “immediately” to answer for the filtration as of 2010 of thousands of classified documents related to military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as thousands of confidential diplomatic cables.
“There he would face a manifestly unfair and unconstitutional process, under the Espionage Law, in relation to publication activities that are protected,” Taylor said.
“The treatment that he would probably receive once there we can anticipate with the regime they submitted to one of their alleged sources, Chelsea Manning, who was held in prolonged isolation at various stages of the proceedings against him,” added.
The Ecuadorian government suspended indefinitely in March all the “systems that allow Assange to communicate with the outside world”, considering that it “violated the commitment” of “not issuing messages that supposed an interference in relation to other States”.
The relationship of the Australian with the Ecuadorian Executive came back to prominence this month, when the British newspaper “The Guardian” revealed that Quito hired undercover agents to watch the visitors of Assange in the embassy and the staff of the legation.
Those spies kept a detailed daily on the daily activities of the founder of WikiLeaks that included details such as his mood, the letters and gifts he received, and the people with whom he was talking, according to the newspaper.
“That information supposedly comes from a Spanish private security firm that was hired by the Ecuadorian intelligence services,” said Taylor, who believes that the data disclosed by “The Guardian” contain “a mixture of truth and information that can be demonstrated which is incorrect.”
“As a member of his team of lawyers, I am very concerned about the monitoring of protected legal content meetings, as well as the fact that details about his confidential contacts have been distributed to various media,” he argued.
For Taylor, “the degree of surveillance without judicial oversight that has been imposed on Assange and his lawyers only serves to underscore that his situation is, in many ways, much worse than that of a prisoner.” (I)