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article imageOp-Ed: The Assange impasse

By Varun B. Krishnan     Aug 19, 2012 in Crime
Julian Assange lies cramped up in the Ecuadorian embassy at Knightsbridge. Britain wants to extradite him to Sweden, while Assange wants to be granted passage to Ecuador.
Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, was granted asylum by Ecuador two months back. Since then, he has been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in Knightsbridge with bare necessities.
Why would a man who has been granted freedom and asylum voluntarily be allowed to be extradited to stand trial? This concept does not seem to have seeped into the United Kingdom's upper echelons.
The foreign affairs minister of the United Kingdom, William Hague, had expressed that he would not allow Assange safe passage to Ecuador as he needs to extradited to Sweden on rape charges. More recently, U.K has called for an 'amicable solution' to this conflict.
This has caused a stalemate situation for all parties involved - Britain, Sweden, Ecuador and Assange. If Britain vetoes Sweden's demand for extradition and grants him safe passage, it will dent diplomatic relations with Sweden. On the other hand Britain has already damaged these relations with Ecuador by refusing safe passage.
The latest news developments in the Julian Assange story at Ecuador s embassy in central London are ...
The latest news developments in the Julian Assange story at Ecuador's embassy in central London are depicted in the still pictures taken Friday (Aug. 17) afternoon in front of the embassy in Chelsea.
Two key factors continue to puzzle. Why hasn't the United States, which was most affected by these cables, denied that they would want to prosecute Assange?
Secondly, why hasn't Australia stepped in to protect the rights of its estranged citizen who has thrown so much light on corruption and bad practices across the globe?
It is evident that Britain does not want to act hastily, but it has become obvious that it is not pleased to harbor Assange on its soil.
Some alternatives need to be explored. Britain has to realize that, the cases filed against Assange were initially dropped but later revived, possibly motivated by politics.
A technical alternative too needs to be looked into. In the modern world where technology plays a pivotal role in everything, can Assange stand trial in Sweden, appearing via video from the Ecuadorian embassy?
While Britain explores its options, Assange sits cramped, under house arrest. This by itself is a violation of human rights.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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