Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

Politics
posted by martyb on Thursday March 29 2018, @07:26AM   Printer-friendly
from the who-ya-gonna-call? dept.

Ecuador cuts off Julian Assange's internet access at London embassy

The government of Ecuador has confirmed that it has cut off internet access in its embassy in London to Julian Assange, the founder of the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks, saying that he was putting the country's international relations at risk.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Ecuador said that the step had been taken because Assange had failed to abide by an agreement not to interfere in the South American country's relations with other states.

"The government of Ecuador warns that Assange's behaviour, through his messages on social networks, put at risk the country's good relations with the United Kingdom, the other states of the European Union, and other nations," the statement said.

[...] Ecuador temporarily cut Assange's internet connection in 2016, over fears that he was using it to interfere in the US presidential election, but it was later restored.

Also at the Miami Herald and teleSUR.


Original Submission

 
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Thursday March 29 2018, @12:58PM (13 children)

    by takyon (881) <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Thursday March 29 2018, @12:58PM (#659938) Journal

    UK minister: 'miserable little worm' Assange should turn himself in [reuters.com]

    “It’s of great regret that Julian Assange remains in the Ecuador embassy,” junior minister Alan Duncan said during a question-and-answer session on foreign affairs in parliament’s House of Commons, in response to a question about Assange.

    “It’s about time that this miserable little worm walked out of the embassy and gave himself up to British justice.”

    Assange responded to Duncan’s comment with a tweet.

    “As a political prisoner detained without charge for 8 years, in violation of 2 UN rulings, I suppose I must be ‘miserable’; yet nothing wrong with being a ‘little’ person although I’m rather tall; and better a ‘worm’, a healthy creature that invigorates the soil, than a snake,” he said.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +1  
       Informative=1, Total=1
    Extra 'Informative' Modifier   0  
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   3  
  • (Score: 2) by zocalo on Thursday March 29 2018, @01:36PM (8 children)

    by zocalo (302) on Thursday March 29 2018, @01:36PM (#659946)
    I'm guessing statements like that might explain why Alan Duncan is only a junior minister but, to be fair, Assange's statement is rather liberal with the truth - he's only a prisoner detained for eight years because he *chose* to flee to the Ecuadorian Embassy and inflict that on himself, and he's also equally free to pack his bags and walk out the front door. Sure, that might result in having to face up to the consequences of the fact he breached the conditions of his bail, but IIRC that's currently the only thing that the UK justice system has on him?

    Here's the thing though; the question of what the absolute worst penalty the UK is legally able to impose for his breach of bail for something that no longer applies - how much prison time, and how much of a fine - which I'm sure Assange would have been told by his legal team. According to this page [sentencingcouncil.org.uk] it's not really all that much - a level 5 fine (£5000) and/or up to 3 months (12 months if indicted), but IANAL and Assange's case may have other considerations. From the moment the Swedes officially dropped their case in May 2017, Assange has been choosing his self-imposed house arrest over that worst case scenario, and there has to be some point at which it would have definitely been easier to just do the time, especially given his claims of health issues arising from his confinement. Given we seem to be pretty close to that point, and paranoia about some form of rendition to the US aside, at this point I think both sides are probably seeing the current situation as "win". Assange because he gets to play the self-imposed martyr for his fans, and western governments because even with Internet access he's still bottled up and less able to stir the pot - and as a bonus someone else footing the bill; keeping someone in jail/prison/Guantanamo Bay isn't going to be cheap.
    --
    UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Thursday March 29 2018, @03:14PM (6 children)

      by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Thursday March 29 2018, @03:14PM (#659994) Journal

      a level 5 fine (£5000) and/or up to 3 months (12 months if indicted), but IANAL and Assange's case may have other considerations. From the moment the Swedes officially dropped their case in May 2017, Assange has been choosing his self-imposed house arrest over that worst case scenario, and there has to be some point at which it would have definitely been easier to just do the time,

      But that's not the worst case scenario by a long shot. This is [nytimes.com]. And check dates - this was long before extraordinary rendition was considered a tool to be used. No rational actor would choose Assange's path under the circumstances you describe. The reality is that if Assange leaves he is invited to leave the country. My guess is that the U.S. has already arranged that there will be no way he'll be allowed to use the Chunnel / France nor Ireland will be allowed to accept him. That means international travel and that means he's fair game as was established by force majeure back in 85.

      --
      This sig for rent.
      • (Score: 2) by zocalo on Thursday March 29 2018, @05:17PM (4 children)

        by zocalo (302) on Thursday March 29 2018, @05:17PM (#660064)
        Sure, that's an option, but I did say legal options, and in any event the UK government isn't exactly in a strong position at present and probably wouldn't want to roll the dice by being party to a rendition after the public outcry last time they were found to be party to it, and Assange has a much higher profile than most of those that were renditioned. Rendition is also going to incur an awful lot of cost, effort, and potential inconvenience to bystanders if he's on a commercial flight for someone who arguably hasn't directly harmed US interests himself, and that's before you factor in the fact that Trump doesn't seem to care all that much about the issue - and actually seemed pro-Wikileaks when they were harming Hillary Clinton's presidential run. I'm sure if it came to it, the UK, Australia, and Ecuador, wouldn't do much to intervene other than make some political platitudes to the press (if that), but ultimately he's really just an inconvenience and probably not worth the effort.

        A regular extradition request seems more likely, especially if he's already back in custody for his bail violation, but even then then UK has been getting a lot less willing to extradite to the US of late, with the legal process taking years either way, again - a lot of cost and effort. It's highly likely he'll be free and clear of the bail issues long before that process completes, so what does the UK do to keep him under the thumb then - house arrest and a tracking bracelet again? Besides, is the US *really* that desperate for Assange to face trial (and for what, exactly?), or even just disappear, or is it just Assange's paranoia being hyped up to further his image as some kind of a martyr to a cause?
        --
        UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
        • (Score: 2) by Pav on Thursday March 29 2018, @11:41PM (1 child)

          by Pav (114) on Thursday March 29 2018, @11:41PM (#660234)

          Assange is not a UK citizen, and currently Australia has a neocon-friendly government in power. The US establishment would probably LOVE another excuse to call Trump a Putin puppet, and I wouldn't put it past the Aussie government to privately pressure the UK to have him extradited.

          • (Score: 2) by zocalo on Friday March 30 2018, @11:35AM

            by zocalo (302) on Friday March 30 2018, @11:35AM (#660338)
            Yes, Assange is by birth Australian but has been granted Ecuadorian citizenship. The Australian government seems to have washed their hands of him though as I don't recall a single official statement in the media about his situation from them, so unless he actually returns to Australia or walks into an Australian consulate/embassy I doubt that is going to change, no matter what might transpire. As for the claimed health issues, there's one very good reason why he'd choose go through that - paranoia. Assange seems 100% certain that the US wants him to face trial, despite the only evidence for this being limited to statements made in an unofficial capacity, but as long as he thinks - rightly or wrongly - that he's going to get extradited and convicted, then he's going to remain in his self-imposed house-arrest.
            --
            UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
        • (Score: 2) by Pav on Friday March 30 2018, @12:09AM (1 child)

          by Pav (114) on Friday March 30 2018, @12:09AM (#660241)

          BTW, Assange has required a root canal for two years, and has some other undisclosed health issues that are reportedly life threatening. One wouldn't take that amount of pain and health deterioration for no reason.

      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @06:35PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @06:35PM (#660123)

        Only fools make light of the long arm of the USA and play down the threat.

        The USA bothers with the likes of Kim Dotcom and hackers https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/08/russia-mps-son-seleznev-arrest-us-secret-service [theguardian.com]

        See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evo_Morales_grounding_incident [wikipedia.org]

        So if you're Assange you'd definitely should be cautious.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 01 2018, @06:03AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 01 2018, @06:03AM (#661062)

      Assange's statement is rather liberal with the truth - he's only a prisoner detained for eight years because he *chose* to flee to the Ecuadorian Embassy and inflict that on himself, and he's also equally free to pack his bags and walk out the front door. Sure, that might result in having to face up to the consequences of the fact he breached the conditions of his bail, but IIRC that's currently the only thing that the UK justice system has on him?

      Are you really that simple?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @02:05PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 29 2018, @02:05PM (#659961)

    Yeah, justice in the United Kingdom is very even handed. Grooming gangs always get punished, and there's no way a Scotsman would be convicted of a crime just for cracking an edgy joke about how Nazis were the worst thing he could think of.