August 26, 2015, New York – In response to the United Kingdom’s diplomatic protest of Ecuador’s continued provision of asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), which represents WikiLeaks and Assange in the U.S., issued the following statement:
In continuing to provide asylum to Julian Assange, Ecuador is rightly offering protection to a journalist and publisher who faces imminent persecution from the United States, as evidenced by the U.S.'s unprecedented attempts to prosecute WikiLeaks and Assange, the Obama administration’s relentless pursuit of whistleblowers, and the U.S. Army's recent threats to hold Chelsea Manning in indefinite solitary confinement.
Granting asylum is a humanitarian act, and the United Nations General Assembly has unanimously declared that it should not be construed by other countries as unfriendly. The United States, Sweden, and the United Kingdom have adopted and reiterated this very principle many times. It is imperative, therefore, that no diplomatic consequences should befall Ecuador over its decision.
We are deeply troubled by the reported diplomatic protest made by the United Kingdom against Ecuador for granting asylum to Assange and by the continued menacing police presence outside the Embassy of Ecuador in London. The United Kingdom has previously threatened to storm the Ecuadoran Embassy and arrest Assange, in clear violation of the Vienna Convention’s protection of the inviolability of sovereign embassy properties.
We call on the British government to explicitly and immediately confirm that it will honor its international and diplomatic commitments.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.