Human rights court rules that Assange should be granted safe passage to Ecuador

Jul 13, 2018

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruled on Friday that those granted political asylum in embassies should also be guaranteed safe passage to the country that provides the asylum. Without naming Julian Assange, the ruling was called a major victory for the WikiLeaks founder who has been hold up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since 2012.

Julian Assange

In several Twitter posts, Assange called the court’s ruling a “huge win today at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights,” and said Great Britain risks “international embarrassment if it does not adhere to the judgement.”

The court released a public statement, which said that it had “interpreted the reach of the protection given under Article 22 (7) of the American Convention on Human Rights and Article XXVII of the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man, which recognize the right to seek and receive asylum in a foreign territory.”

The ruling continued: “The Court determined the human rights obligations of the Member States of the Organization of American States regarding the host country and, in this case, for third States, in virtue of the risk that persons seeking international protection could suffer if they are not allowed the full rights of asylum including safe passage.”

The team of judges who ruled on the case included Eduardo Ferrer Mac-Gregor Poisot; Eduardo Vio Grossi; Humberto Antonio Sierra Porto; Elizabeth Odio Benito; and Judge L. Patricio Pazmiño Freire.

In May, Ecuador’s president Lenin Moreno eliminated additional security from the London embassy assigned to Assange’s protection. According to the National Secretary of Communication, the government “will maintain normal security similar to the level of security at all other Ecuadorean embassies in the rest of the world.”

Later that month Moreno said his country will respect Assange’s right to asylum but only if he  “respects the conditions” he agreed to as a condition on his asylum.

“Let’s not forget the conditions of his asylum prevent him from speaking about politics or intervening in the politics of other countries. That’s why we cut off his communication,” Moreno explained.

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