Looks like we’re one step closer to Assange’s extradition.
Ecuador has received written assurances from the UK government that it would not to extradite Julian Assange to any country where he would face the death penalty, the country’s president, Lenín Moreno, has said.
In a live radio interview on Thursday, Moreno said that the WikiLeaks founder now had sufficient guarantees to leave Ecuador’s embassy in the UK, where he has lived under asylum since mid-2012…
It is not clear if this assurance amounts to a commitment that the UK will not allow Assange’s extradition to the US at all – or whether it would allow extradition on condition that he would not face the death penalty…
Earlier this year, the Foreign Office minister, Alan Duncan, tried to reassure Assange about his treatment if he chose to leave the embassy, telling MPs: “We are increasingly concerned about his health.
“It is our wish that this is brought to an end, and we would like to make the assurance that if he were to step out of the embassy, he would be treated humanely and properly. The first priority would be to look after his health, which we think is deteriorating.”
I’m just reading between the lines here, but this seems to be shaping up as a carefully orchestrated PR campaign (between Ecuador, the UK, and the US) to remove Assange from the embassy as gracefully as possible and transport him to the US – using health concerns as an excuse while giving Assange the assurance that, regardless of what kind of justice he faces here, he will not be handed the death penalty. Time will tell.