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Letter to Ecuadorian Embassy re Julian Assange
Whistleblower's human rights denied
(On 28 March the new Ecuadorian government and its President cut off all use of the internet from Julian and forbade him all future visitors. His friends have rallied and are asking all who care to protest and work on his behalf. The letter below explains itself)
To: Mr Carlos Antonio Abad Ortiz, Ambassador, Ecuadorian Embassy, London. (via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Further to my telephone conversation at 11 a.m this morning with a gentleman in your embassy who refused to pass on my message to you, I wish to convey in writing the substance of the message I wished to convey.
1. As a human being and human rights activist I, like many millions around the world, was delighted with the decision of the Ecuadorian government, led at that time by President Rafael Correa, to grant asylum to Julian Assange after the Wikileaks revelations.
2. Now, however, under the Presidency of Lenín Boltaire Moreno Garcés, since 28 March 2018 Julian has been cut off from internet access and denied visitors within the Embassy in London. This decision of President Moreno has disappointed and infuriated me.
3. It is impossible to understand the devastation that the lack of internet access will cause to someone like Mr Assange whose whole raison d'etre has been so bound up with the internet. Depriving him of this access is the equivalent of a death sentence.
4. Similarly, for someone who is confined in a now hostile embassy (hostile since the election of President Moreno in April last year) deprivation of the human right to receive visitors is, in my opinion, a crime against humanity. If the most notorious prisons in the world allow the greatest criminals to receive visitors, why should a human rights activist like Julian Assange be denied this right by your embassy?
5. According to the Guardian newspaper, at the end of 2017 the new Ecuadorian government under President Moreno got a written commitment made by Mr Assange not to issue messages that might interfere with other states. It was allegedly on foot of this that the Ecuadorian government took these swingeing draconian measures to punish him so inhumanely. Merco Press revealed that the Moreno decision came after Assange had decried the arrest of President Puigdemont of Catalonia. Assange is a human rights activist - what else would you expect him to do?
6. The commitment that Mr Assange was forced to sign would now appear to have been a trap to allow the Ecuadorian government and its new President to undo the moral support given to him by President Rafael Correa. As observers on #reconnectingjulian have noted, Ecuador’s treatment of its own citizen, Julian Assange, at the behest of Lenin Moreno and under pressure from the Spanish government also represents a clear breach of article 16.2 of the Ecuadorian Constitution. Article 16.2 states "All persons, individually or collectively, have the right to Universal access to information and communications technologies". Julian is now a citizen of Ecuador. And according to Article 8.5 "Those who acquire the Ecuadorian nationality shall not be obligated to forfeit their nationality of origin. Ecuadorian nationality acquired by naturalization shall be forfeited by express renunciation". I could suggest that the President and government are acting contrary to the Constitution of Ecuador.
7. They are certainly acting contrary to the spirit of justice and humanity.
8 I request you to pass on this message to your President and government in accordance with the normal protocol of embassies everywhere.
9. I also urge your President and government to honour their commitments to Julian when they made him a citizen of Ecuador and to return to him the human rights of receiving visitors and full access to information and communications technology, i.e. full access to the use of the internet.
10 This letter will be published simultaneously on the Internet'
With best personal wishes
Justin Morahan, Pacifist and Human Rights activist
Dublin, Ireland. 17 April 2018