WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sought asylum from the Ecuador Embassy in London. As a signatory to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the Embassy has an obligation to review his application and should grant it.
Asylum eligibility has three requirements, all of which Assange meets: 1) a fear of persecution, 2) on account of a protected ground (in Assange's case, "political opinion"), and 3) a government is either involved in the persecution (in Assange's case, the United States) or unable to control the conduct of private actors.
After Britain rejected Asange's bid to reconsider extradition to Sweden to face questioning over sexual misconduct allegations (Assange has not been charged with any crime by any nation), Assange sought asylum from the Ecuador Embassy in London.
Under the criteria that even the U.S. follows, he qualifies. Few would contest that he has a valid fear of political persecution. And certainly a government, primarily the United States, is behind it. The Pentagon launched a world-wide manhunt against Assange. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Cal.), who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote an Op-Ed stating conclusively that
Mr. Assange continues to violate the Espionage Act of 1917
, a law the United States has used in a brutal crackdown on whistleblowers, often involving trumped up criminal charges. (See the case of my client and fellow Kossack Tom Drake.)
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