US doesn’t believe in ‘diplomatic asylum’

WASHINGTON — The United States said Friday that it did not believe in “diplomatic asylum” after Ecuador offered to let WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange stay indefinitely in its embassy in London.

Ecuador has turned to the Organization of American States, which met Thursday and Friday in Washington, after deciding to offer asylum to the Internet activist who is wanted in Sweden on sexual assault allegations.

Under a 1954 agreement, the Organization of American States agreed to allow asylum in diplomatic missions for “persons being sought for political reasons,” although not individuals indicted for “common offenses.”

“The United States is not a party to the 1954 OAS Convention on Diplomatic Asylum and does not recognize the concept of diplomatic asylum as a matter of international law,” the State Department said in a statement.

via AFP.

In 1956, following the Soviet Union’s crushing of the Hungarian freedom fighters, Cardinal Josef Mindszenty sought diplomatic asylum in the U.S. embassy in Budapest, and he remained in the embassy for 15 years.  Just last April, the blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng sought asylum in the U.S. embassy in Beijing, and later was granted passage to the United States.

Is the U.S. government now repudiating its historic policy?  Is it saying that the United States had no right to grant protection to Cardinal Mindszenty or Chen Guangcheng?

And, if it is not involved in the Sweden’s extradition of Julian Assange or the dispute between the British and Ecuadorian governments, why issue a statement at all?

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One Response to “US doesn’t believe in ‘diplomatic asylum’”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    […] Julian Assange. Everyone around the world knows him. Either they hate him or they love him. But you know who hates him the most? The huge power players in international politics. They are upset that their gossip and political backstabbing has been unveiled by the notorious Wikileaks. Julian Assange: Hero or Villain Britain! Don’t be a ‘US stooge’ : Assange supporters Vote: should Julian Assange be extradited to Sweden? Julian Assange affair Russia warns UK Julian Assange—Where do you stand? Ecuadorian government grants Wikileaks’ Julian Assange diplomatic asylum US doesn’t believe in ‘diplomatic asylum’ […]

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