Julian Assange’s issue has got the British Government between honouring the Bilateral Treaty between United Kingdom and Sweden, on the one side; or the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, on the other, or so the UK would want to polish the Assange issue and present it to the world!
Julian Assange had entered the Ecuadorian Consulate in London and had successfully sought Asylum for himself from Ecuadorian President against the wishes of the UK Authorites. The UK wants to extradite Assange to Sweden, where he is to be tried for charges of Rape, the UK seems to have taken their role pretty seriously, as they do not want a rape accused to escape the jurisdiction of the courts which have taken cognizance of the same! The greater zeal shown by the Swedish prosecution is in wanting Assange to be subjected to their jurisdiction ! The lawyer of Julian Assange is supposed to have told the court that when Swedish authorities could send a team of officials/officers to Serbia to examine a MURDER ACCUSED, why should not the investigation team from Sweden be despatched to London to gather evidence from Julian Assange. Interesting in the sense that Murder- though a serious crime- is not as heinous as Rape, but in the eyes of the law (as i know it) almost all countries prescribe a higher punishment for Murder than Rape (probably because it is easier to reconstruct a hymen than to create a Human- sorry pals for this!) and therefore the gravity attached to the offence of Murder is graver than Rape and logically, if Sweden could send a team to Serbia to interrogate a Murder accused, they surely can send one to London to interrogate a Rape Accused.
The important point is that the British Embassy in Quito, issues a statement saying that as per some 80’s law, the UK could withdraw the Diplomatic status of Ecuador! This seems like a VENTRILOQUIST THREAT! A ventriloquist when he wants to say something offensive or threatening may make the doll in his hand open its mouth, but it is the ventriloquist himself who without opening his mouth would be able to produce the desired sounds! The UK by allowing their Embassy in Quito saying this, has not, technically speaking, issued any diplomatic threats to Ecuador. As usual, UK’s double speak is at its height!
The Taliban when it captured Kabul UN Office and pulled out Najibullah and hanged and hung him in a traffic signal post, there was no such pre-action threat sounded by Taliban and its cohorts! But, given to sophistication and mollycoddling the conscience of the unthinking literate, the UK Government wants to shed croc tears before launching on activities in blatant disregard of the Human Rights. At least, when Col Noriega escaped into a similar situation into the Vatican nuncio’s office, the US government waited for his surrender. But there is no such hope for the UK, as Julian Assange is of sterner stuff.
Coming to the Vienna convention, this is not one convention but a series of Conventions which on various issues have been brought into effect on different dates. But before VIENNA CONVENTIONS were done and ratified, there was this UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948. One has to go through the following Articles, which are very similar to the FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS enshrined originally in our Constitution of India.
- (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
- (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
- (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.
- Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Just as our Parliamentary Legislators whittled down the FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS and pitted these Fundamental Rights against the DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY, the United Kingdom is pitting its TREATIES with Sweden against Julian Assange to whittle down the Articles enshrined in the UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS!
I hope these imperialist interpretations are defeated by the ebullient ASSANGE!