News Release

“Three Basic Questions” the Media Should be Asking in Assange Asylum Case


ROBERT NAIMAN, naiman at,
Robert Naiman is policy director of Just Foreign Policy. The group organized and delivered this appeal signed by prominent Americans urging Ecuador to accept Julian Assange’s asylum request in late June.

Naiman said today: “As Americans who appealed to Ecuador to grant Julian Assange’s request for political asylum from the threat of U.S. persecution, we are delighted with the decision by Ecuador to grant Assange asylum. But there are three questions the media should be asking.

“The UK is now saying that it does not respect diplomatic asylum and has threatened to raid Ecuador’s embassy, which would be a grave breach of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The UK threat to violate international law is particularly extreme when one considers that these three basic questions have never been answered:

1) why Sweden won’t agree to question Assange in the UK;

2) why Sweden won’t promise not to extradite Assange to the United States if he voluntarily goes to Sweden;

3) why the UK won’t promise to oppose an extradition request from the U.S. to Sweden if Assange voluntarily goes to Sweden.”

COLEEN ROWLEY, rowleyclan at
Rowley, a former FBI Special Agent and Division Counsel whose May 2002 memo described some of the FBI’s pre-9/11 failures, was named one of Time Magazine’s “Persons of the Year” in 2002. She said today: “The entire U.S. Government’s fixation with secrecy that has led to over-classification of 92 million documents last year, the ‘leak’ frenzy that is driving the espionage prosecutions of so many former CIA, NSA and other government whistleblowers — also driving thousands of unnecessary polygraphs of government employees — is simply a gross over-reaction along with the UK threat today to storm the Ecuadorian Embassy to capture Julian Assange of WikiLeaks and thus deny his asylum.”