Human Rights Group Applauds Ecuador’s Move Granting Assange Asylum

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on Thursday applauded the Ecuadoran government for agreeing to grant Wikileaks founder Julian Assange political asylum.

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on Thursday applauded the Ecuadoran government for agreeing to grant Wikileaks founder Julian Assange political asylum.

The non-profit organization works to protect rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The group also represents Wikileaks and Assange in the United States.

CCR Executive Director Vincent Warren said in a statement that granting asylum to Assange is a “humanitarian act” and argued that the U.N. General Assembly has declared that the act “not be construed as unfriendly by other countries.”

“Ecuador’s action rightly offers protection to a journalist and publisher who faces persecution from the U.S.,” Vincent said in a statement. “It thereby strengthens the global commitment to human rights, including government accountability and freedom of the press. We hope that Assange’s contributions to a robust democratic society are belatedly recognized by the U.S., which prides itself in its commitment to free press.”

Ecuador’s announcement comes on the heels of U.K. threats to enter the Ecuadoran Embassy to arrest Assange. The CCR called the threat a violation of the Vienna Convention.

Below is the Center for Constitutional Rights’ full statement: 

“We applaud Ecuador for granting asylum to Julian Assange. Ecuador’s action rightly offers protection to a journalist and publisher who faces persecution from the U.S. It thereby strengthens the global commitment to human rights, including government accountability and freedom of the press. We hope that Assange’s contributions to a robust democratic society are belatedly recognized by the U.S., which prides itself in its commitment to a free press.

“Granting asylum is a humanitarian act and the UN General Assembly has unanimously declared that it should not be construed as unfriendly by other countries. The U.S., Sweden and the U.K. have adopted and reiterated this very principle many times. It is imperative, therefore, that no diplomatic consequences should befall Ecuador over this decision.

“We are deeply troubled by the reported U.K. threats to storm the Ecuadoran Embassy and arrest Assange, in clear violation of the Vienna Convention’s protection of the inviolability of sovereign embassy properties, and by the menacing police presence outside the embassy. We call on the British government to explicitly and immediately confirm that it will honor international and diplomatic commitments.”

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