UK: Don’t Allow US Extradition of Assange

August 7th, 2012

Received by e-mail, From: Just Foreign Policy, Date: August 2, 2012.

Dear Supporter, For the past six weeks, Wikileaks’ Julian Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy in London while his application for political asylum is reviewed. Meanwhile, Ecuadorean officials have been trying to reach a diplomatic resolution by seeking assurances from the US, UK, and Swedish governments that Assange will not be extradited to the United States if he travels to Sweden for questioning.

But all three governments have remained silent on the issue. [1] It is also being reported that the Swedish government has refused an offer to interview Assange at the Ecuadorean embassy. [2]

But there is still hope. A senior legal advisor to the Ecuadoreans told the Guardian that the UK must waive what is called “specialty” for Assange to be extradited to the US after proceedings in Sweden are complete. [3] If the UK were to give assurances that they would not waive specialty, Assange would be safe to venture to Sweden for questioning.

Join us in pressing Theresa May, the UK Home Secretary, and the UK Foreign Office to give assurances that they will not consent to Julian Assange being extradited to the US from Sweden

After six weeks in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, the possibility that Julian Assange will be extradited to the US remains high.

The UK could resolve this impasse tomorrow if it wished. According to the senior legal advisor cited in the Guardian’s report, an individual served up under a European Arrest Warrant can only be extradited to the country making the request. When that country is done with him, the individual has a 45 day grace period to travel elsewhere. He cannot be extradited to a third country during this time. [4] This is the concept of “specialty.”

But specialty can be waived by the country granting the initial extradition request. In Assange’s case, if the UK Home Secretary, Theresa May, waives specialty, he can be extradited to the US from Sweden when the latter is done with him. If May were to publicly state that she would not waive specialty and would not consent to a US extradition of Assange, the US would not be able to extradite Assange from Sweden after proceedings there were complete.

Yet, UK and Swedish officials remain intransigent, with both refusing to give assurances that Assange will not be extradited to the US. This only provides further evidence that the threat to Assange is a very real one. With the US unlikely to reveal its intentions until the last minute [5]—and with some in the US, like Senator Dianne Feinstein, publicly calling for Assange’s prosecution [6]—it is in the hands of Sweden and the UK to clear up intentions about Assange. That both refuse to make public statements against US extradition is troubling.

To date, there hasn’t been much public pressure on the UK government to declare its intentions with regard to Assange. Let’s change that. Sign our petition pressing the UK to publicly declare that it will not waive specialty in the case of Julian Assange.

Thank you for all you do to help bring about a more just foreign policy, Megan Iorio, Chelsea Mozen, Sarah Burns and Robert Naiman, Just Foreign Policy.


1. Ecuador seeks to stop evil of Julian Assange US extradition, Paul Lewis, The Guardian, July 26, 2012,
2. Ecuador wants to avoid Assange’s extradition to Sweden, Eduardo Garcia, Reuters, August 1, 2012,
3. Ecuador seeks to stop evil of Julian Assange US extradition, Paul Lewis, The Guardian, July 26, 2012,
4. Ibid.
5. WikiLawyer: US investigation against Assange unprecedented in size and scale, RT, August 2, 2012,
6. Diane Feinstein targets press freedom, Glenn Greenwald, Salon, July 2, 2012.


The Julian Assange Show on RT (in english, espanol, arabic and russian);

US Investigation against Assange Unprecedented in Size and Scale.

Comments are closed.