The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ann Wright 808-741-1141

Washington Vigil for Political Asylum for Wikileaks Julian Assange at Ecuador Embassy, Sunday, June 24, 6pm

Location: Embassy of Ecuador, 1050 30th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20009


Human rights activists will vigil at 6pm, Sunday, June 24, 2012, at the Embassy of Ecuador to urge President Correa of Ecuador, to grant the petition of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange for political asylum from the threat of prosecution by the United States under the Espionage Act for his role in publishing leaked U.S. diplomatic cables.

Wikileaks' release of thousands of U.S. State Department cables revealed important cases of U.S. officials acting to undermine democracy and human rights around the world.

After British courts struck down Mr. Assange's appeal against extradition to Sweden, where he is not wanted on criminal charges, but merely for questioning, Mr. Assange has repeatedly made clear he is willing to answer questions relating to accusations against him, but in the United Kingdom. The Swedish government insists that he be brought to Sweden for questioning.

Retired US Army Colonel and former US diplomat Ann Wright said "Mr. Assange has good reason to fear extradition to Sweden, as there is a strong likelihood that once in Sweden, he would be imprisoned, and then likely extradited to the United States. Were he charged in the United States, and found guilty under the Espionage Act, Assange could face the death penalty."

Retired CIA analyst and Presidential briefer Ray McGovern said, "We call on President Correa to grant Mr. Assange political asylum as the "crime" that he has committed is revealing war crimes committed by the U.S. government, most notably in releasing video footage from a US Apache helicopter of a 2007 incident in which the U.S. military appears to have deliberately killed civilians, including two Reuters News employees."

McGovern also said that "On October 23, 2010, in London, whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg presented Julian Assange the annual award for integrity given by the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence, a group of former senior intelligence and foreign policy officials of the 'coalition of the willing.' SAAII commended Assange for his ingenuity in creating a high-speed highway through which critically important documentary evidence can make its way through the ether into the public domain. At the Ecuadorian embassy in Washington, Sam Adams Associates will present a formal request that Ecuador approve Julian Assange's appeal for political asylum."