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Posts Tagged ‘Ecuador’

Defending Assange, Ecuador’s President Kindles a Controversy over Defining Rape

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 24, 2012

The decision to help keep Assange out of Sweden shines light on Latin America’s problematic attitude toward rape
image: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange prepares to speak from the balcony of Ecuador's embassy, where he is taking refuge in London Aug. 19, 2012.
CHRIS HELGREN / REUTERS
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange prepares to speak from the balcony of Ecuador’s embassy in London, where he is taking refuge, on Aug. 19, 2012

This isn’t exactly International Male Sensitivity Week. First we had Missouri Congressman and Dark Ages darling Todd Akin sparking a global firestorm of criticism, and calls from his own Republican Party that he drop his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, by suggesting that “legitimate” female rape victims rarely get pregnant. Akin later apologized and said he meant to say “forcible” rape — but that still betrayed the backwardly narrow definition of rape that Akin and so many other anti–abortion rights conservatives hold.

Now we have Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, who last week granted political asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, reminding us just how at home Akin would likely feel in Latin America, even in countries run by leftists like Correa. Talking to reporters on Wednesday in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Correa noted with a disturbingly matter-of-fact air that the sexual assault two women in Sweden accuse Assange of committing against them in 2010 “would not be considered in any case a felony in Latin America.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Julian Assange Granted Asylum By Ecuador; Britain Vows To Extradite Him To Sweden

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 17, 2012

By 

WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange was granted political asylum by Ecuador on Thursday, setting up a standoff with the British government, which has vowed to block his exit from the country.

The announcement was made by the Ecuadorian foreign minister, Ricardo Patiño. He said that Ecuador was granting Assange political asylum because it believed he was being persecuted for his actions as the head of WikiLeaks.

“The Ecuador government, loyal to its tradition to protect those who seek refuge with us at our diplomatic missions, has decided to grant diplomatic asylum to Mr. Assange,” he said. Applause greeted his announcement.

Assange remains holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he fled to avoid extradition charges to Sweden. He is wanted there to face allegations of rape, but he fears that he will be swiftly transferred to the United States, where he says he could be prosecuted for leaking classified material through WikiLeaks.

Sweden has denied that it has any such intentions. A lawyer for the women who have accused Assange of sexually assaulting them told Reuters that the idea was “absurd,” and that Assange needed to be “brought to justice.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Is Ecuador Julian Assange’s Choice for Asylum?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 20, 2012

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has appealed for asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. It’s a curious choice: under President Rafael Correa, Ecuador’s free speech record has been dismal.
Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

DAN KITWOOD / GETTY IMAGES

Julian Assange, the controversial Australian founder of Wikileaks, walked into Ecuador‘s London embassy on Tuesday to request political asylum. He may have picked just the right kind of government to accept him.

The South American country in April 2011 became the only one to officially expel a U.S. ambassador over the scandal generated by the thousands of leaked diplomatic cables. Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa—a populist firebrand whose thin-skinned response to the stolen cables’ detailing police corruption in Ecuador prompted U.S. ambassador Heather Hodges’ dismissal—has faced global criticism over his track record on free speech and could see in Assange just the character to help him restore some of his tarnished credentials.

(READ: Out of Ecuador—a U.S. ambassador bites the Wiki-dust.)

The UK’s top court last week refused Assange’s final appeal against being sent to Sweden to face charges of rape and sexual harassment, which he claims are politically trumped up. “Death threats, economic boycott and the possibility of being handed over to the authorities of the United States by British, Swedish or Australian authorities have led me to seek asylum on Ecuadorean territory and protection to allow me to continue with my mission,” he said in a letter read to the media in Quito by Ricardo Patiño, Ecuador’s Foreign Minister. Assange says that he could face the death penalty in the U.S. for having published confidential government cables, along with thousands of Pentagon documents earlier. Patiño said that Ecuador hasn’t yet granted him asylum, but he may stay at the embassy until the Correa administration makes its decision. Last year, Quito fumed over the leaked cables, insisting their contents – which suggested that Correa had knowingly named an allegedly corrupt chief of police in order to be able to control him better – were completely untrue. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tungurahua, Ecuador Volcano, Sends 300 Fleeing From Truck-Sized Rocks

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 30, 2011


Behind all these natural disaster we human beings are responsibl­e.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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