back to article UK Foreign Office offers Assange a doctor if he leaves Ecuador embassy

A UK Foreign Office minister has offered cupboard-dwelling WikiLeaker Julian Assange access to medical attention if he leaves Ecuador's London embassy. Sir Alan Duncan told Parliament this afternoon that the British government is "increasingly concerned" about Assange's health. "It is our wish that this can be brought to an …

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  1. Blockchain commentard

    Yep. Don't want to look like the Chinese when we hand over a prisoner (student Otto Warmbier) who dies when he hits US soil.

    1. MiguelC Silver badge

      at least get your culprits right

      Otto Warmbier was a prisoner of North Korea, not China.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Damn straight, reminds me of the time the Japanese killed Franz Ferdinand and caused the battle of the boyne.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Damn straight, reminds me of the time the Japanese killed Franz Ferdinand and caused the battle of the boyne.

        And the poor ostrich died for nothing...

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Just a minute. I'm sure I saw Franz Ferdinand playing a tune on TV the other day.

        Are you sure they didn't shoot Archie Duke?

        1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

          Are you sure they didn't shoot Archie Duke?

          No, he was off playing bridge in Sarajevo

  2. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

    The US cannot call Assange a traitor, for that is someone who betrays their own country. Assange is Australian, I believe. Unlucky country!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Assange is Australian"

      Or Ecuadoran these days.

      Perhaps the US intends to grant him unsolicited and retrospective citizenship so they could charge him.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Ecuador is south of the border wall.

        1. DougS Silver badge
          Devil

          Ecuador is south of the border wall.

          So's Australia. Or England, for that matter, if you go south (well maybe SSE) for a little over 20,000 miles or so.

          1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

            Well, England *is* south of the Antonine Wall...

          2. katrinab Silver badge

            London is a bit further north than the Canadian border.

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge

      The US cannot call Assange a traitor, for that is someone who betrays their own country

      Americans never had much a grasp on English, it gets warped into a strange parody as soon as it's plane touches the tarmac. Sounds similar and communication is possible at a basic level, but a lot of words mean completely different things.

      Their grasp on the emotive, even if it makes little sense, is spot on though.

      1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

        But even Brits can't all grasp English punctuation rules.

        1. vtcodger Silver badge

          "But even Brits can't all grasp English punctuation rules."

          English has punctuation rules? Who knew?

          1. jgarbo
            Headmaster

            Remember the Great Vowel Shift

            When er changed to ar and divided England.

            1. Gnomalarta

              Re: Remember the Great Vowel Shift

              I think I remember the Great Vole Shift.

              1. lglethal Silver badge
                Trollface

                Re: Remember the Great Vowel Shift

                I experienced the Great Bowel Shift this morning. Damn curry last night...

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Remember the Great Vowel Shift

                  I experienced the Great Bowel Shift this morning

                  Hah! All that young folk. In my days it was called a core dump..

                  :)

                  1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                    Re: Remember the Great Vowel Shift

                    In my days it was called a core dump...

                    Fair enough, Old Timer. Just don't ask any of us young folk to inspect your logs.

                    [I don't know who I'm kidding here with this us young folk? I'm at least slalomming down the final slope to middle age, if even assuming that's still ahead of me doesn't count as wishful thinking.]

    3. Archtech Silver badge

      Recent changes

      Apparently you haven't noticed that Australia has become a US dependency, and is ruled directly from Washington.

      1. DJV Silver badge

        @Archtech

        And there was me thinking they were now part of Europe given their recent appearances in the Eurovision Ear-Torturing Song Contest.

  3. Vincent Ballard
    FAIL

    Many things but not a traitor to the US

    Assange may be many things, and I can think of a few pejorative terms I would apply to him, but any Americans who think that he is a traitor to the US are objectively morons. You can't commit treason against a country of which you have never been a citizen.

    1. Scorchio!!

      Re: Many things but not a traitor to the US

      You can't commit treason against a country of which you have never been a citizen.

      Indeed, but he has behaved like a one man hostile power.

      1. jgarbo

        Re: Many things but not a traitor to the US

        Thank Zeus. And we need many more like him.

        1. flayman

          Re: Many things but not a traitor to the US

          We need many more like him exiled to closets without internet access.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Many things but not a traitor to the US

      In infosec terms he's a traitor to the Five Eyes™ and will be gulagged accordingly, should he step outside.

    3. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Many things but not a traitor to the US

      That never prevented American-born Irish William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw) being executed as a traitor by Britain, despite never having been British.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Many things but not a traitor to the US

        @macjules

        Joyce held a British passport which was sufficient to establish allegiance to the Crown. This was dealt with in his appeals to the Court of Appeals and the House of Lords.

        1. TReko

          Re: Many things but not a traitor to the US

          The historian A.J.P. Taylor remarked, in his book English History 1914–1945, that "Technically, Joyce was hanged for making a false statement when applying for a passport, the usual penalty for which is a small fine."

      2. JimJimmyJimson

        Re: Many things but not a traitor to the US

        He would have been a British subject by descent from his Irish parents (the republic of Ireland didn't exist until 1917 if I recall - it was British before then)

      3. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Many things but not a traitor to the US

        "That never prevented American-born Irish William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw) being executed as a traitor by Britain, despite never having been British."

        He had had a British passport (which he'd lied about his nationality to get), and the court decided that that made him a British citizen and thus a traitor. He appealed but was turned down, so legally yes he was a British citizen, as far as the British judicial system of the time was concerned.

    4. ShelLuser

      @Vincent

      "but any Americans who think that he is a traitor to the US are objectively morons. You can't commit treason against a country of which you have never been a citizen."

      Not only that but what about the people involved in all the (often) illegal and usually questionable practices which got exposed?

      That's the main part I never understood: if they had followed protocol, if they had stuck with the rules then they wouldn't have been exposed. And the worst part is that most of those are also getting away with all this. Because... reasons and the greater good I guess?

      There's a reason why the saying "Don't shoot the messenger" exists. Not trying to imply that this also applies here of course, because messengers usually only deliver messages and don't rape or harass women.

    5. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: Many things but not a traitor to the US

      You can't commit treason against a country of which you have never been a citizen.

      Weirdly though, you can break their laws, even if you've never been there. Its that whole global reach thing again. Mind you, the UK does the same thing with tax, so we're not exactly free & clear on this ourselves....

  4. Suricou Raven

    His paranoia is understandable. And justified.

    He was involved in the release of highly sensitive information which reflected poorly on a superpower. A superpower which, in recent years, had shown itsself willing to resort to secret kidnappings and off-the-records prisons, and to detain people indefinitely without charge of trial. If I were in his place, I'd suspect the US was plotting to get hold of me too. He may well even be right.

    Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.

    (Doesn't make him less of a general arse, though.)

    1. streaky Silver badge

      Re: His paranoia is understandable. And justified.

      He was involved in the release of highly sensitive information which reflected poorly on a superpower.

      The real problem is the people who got it out which the US full well knows. If the US could figure out what to charge Assange with they'd have had him extradited years ago; it's very easy to do, even from where he is.

      Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you.

      Doesn't mean they are either. I don't believe for a second Assange is this paranoid, if he was he'd have never come to the UK where it's easy to get extradited to the US in the first place, he'd have stayed in Sweden or done what shall be henceforth known as "doing a Snowden". At the time this would have been very easy. He WANTED it to go this way because nobody is actually that stupid.

      He's a useful idiot and his story will end the same way as the stories of all the useful idiots before him; forgotten and unwanted and that's what really scares him.

  5. Doctor Evil

    I see the problem!

    "UK Foreign Office offers Assange a doctor if he leaves Ecaudor embassy"

    They've been standing in front of the wrong embassy!

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: I see the problem!

      Isn't Ecaudor an Internet forum obsessed with Macbeth?

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: I see the problem!

        Lead on MacAssange, I will follow thee... (out of the Broom closet)...

      2. GIRZiM
        Devil

        Re: Isn't Ecaudor an Internet forum obsessed with Macbeth?

        Maybe, maybe not.

        (I'll get my coat)

  6. The Nazz Silver badge

    Paging

    Paging Dr Shipman. Dr Shipman.

    Just joking,of course. He may be an absolute prize twunt but his part in prior revelations are worthwhile.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Devil

      Re: Paging

      Tell you what. He can have "Dr" Gillian McKeith then...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So the UK is openly violating someone's human rights but only until he surrends himself to the U.S's lapdog?

    1. Bill B
      WTF?

      Er wot?

      Eh? What?

      (spelling)

      What?

      Sometimes I think El Reg’s commentards are speaking a foreign language.

      1. Jan 0
        Pint

        Re: Er wot?

        Sometimes I think that some commentards have no grasp of the history of the society they live in.

        If WOT, was good enough for Chad during WWII, then it's good enough for a Limey like me.

        See http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/19/a3568719.shtml if you really don't know about Chad. Beer, because of its technical origins.

        1. GIRZiM

          Re: Er wot?

          "Sometimes I think that some commentards have no grasp of the history of the society they live in."

          Or of its culture

      2. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Er wot?

        Sometimes I think El Reg’s commentards are speaking a foreign language.

        Yes, there's English, Bad English and whatever it is the English speak.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      How are we violating his human rights? Doctors can go in and see him. I don't know why Ecuador (or he) can't stump up for a mobile dentist. I'll do the work for free if he likes - string -> door handle -> slam! That should do the trick. Obviously he'd struggle to get an MRI machine through the door...

      But if he pops out and gets arrested, he'll get proper medical treatment. Either in the prison hospital, or taken under guard to a normal hospital if he requires specialist treatment. As is normal.

      He has human rights. But so do the people who he allegedly raped. And their human rights require that he face trial. Sadly Sweden has a 10 year statute of limitations on rape, so he may well be able to dodge his trial if he waits long enough, but until then we have a duty to both treat him and also to ship him off to Sweden to face trial.

      1. Anonymous Noel Coward

        In fairness, the way the headline is phrased makes it sound like the UK is denying him medical treatment unless he leaves...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The case in Sweden was dropped. There is no trial to be had.

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