Just As Ecuador Grants Asylum To Assange, It Prepares To Extradite Blogger For Exposing Corruption
from the epic-failures dept
We just wrote about hypocrisy from Russia, condemning the UK over the Julian Assange situation at the same time that it was putting Pussy Riot in jail for political speech. As someone pointed out in our comments, there's plenty of hypocrisy to go around, including with Ecuador, who, at the same time it's granting asylum to Assange, is likely preparing to extradite a blogger who was granted asylum after exposing corruption in Belarus.
The plight of Barankov poses a real test of Ecuador’s commitment to human rights. A former Belarusian army captain, Barankov arrived in Quito in 2008 thanks to the Ecuadorian government’s very liberal immigration laws. He then set up a blog denouncing corruption and other crimes allegedly committed under authoritarian ruler Alexander Lukashenko. Ecuador initially granted him refugee status, but after a state visit by Lukashenko to Quito on June 29, he was arrested and is being held in the capital’s infamous, 19th century prison while the top court hears the case on Belarus’ fresh extradition request. If sent there, according to his partner, Maribel Andrade, he will face charges of treason and could be put to death.Furthermore, the report in Time notes that Ecuador has a history of not respecting the basic privacy and human rights of its citizens and journalists:
Indeed, the hospitality that Ecuador extends to Assange is withheld from Ecuadorians who may try to emulate his online whistle-blowing tactics. Since Assange entered the embassy, Ecuador’s government has scrapped the need for a warrant to investigate private Internet Protocol addresses. Additionally, for the second time in 18 months, on July 31 government officials and police seized the computers of the newsmagazine Vanguardia, which has been critical of the Correa Administration. The charge: that the publication had violated labor laws. As a result, Vanguardia only managed to go to print this week with the help of donated computers.Kinda makes you wonder if there are any reasonable governments out there.