back to article Leaked memo: No internet until you clean your bathroom, Ecuador told Julian Assange

Like a weary mother laying down the law, London's Ecuadorian embassy has slapped WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with a nine-page memo of house rules to follow if he wants to see the internet again under their roof. On Sunday WikiLeaks said in a statement that Ecuador would "remove the isolation regime imposed on [Assange]", …

  1. RGE_Master

    Putting it bluntly, had he left at the time Sweden wanted him, he'd be a free man by now. Have you seen the prisons in Sweden, he'd have more freedom there that he does in London.

    He's currently sat there, laughing, without a doubt going stir crazy. It's clear Ecuador is getting a little more than pissed off as well since they are now giving him rules that he must adhere to.

  2. 0laf Silver badge

    I don't think the Swedish prison was the issue rather the Swedish extradition treaty with the US. US prisons being somewhat less pleasent than Swedish ones and I doubt the US legal and government services would be keen on letting him out, ever.

  3. RGE_Master

    Good point, well presented... I think I'd rather die than end up in an American Prison.

  4. tmTM

    It's clear Ecuador is getting a little more than pissed off

    It's another step in convincing him to finally leave.

    He was only going to be welcome for as long as he could curry favour with the Ecuadorian political establishment.

    The winds are starting to change and they don't want him sat on their Sofa much longer.

  5. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
    Boffin

    @RGE_Master ...

    Actually, had he not fled, he would have been arrested, faced the charges and would have been tossed out of the country most likely not serving any jail time except for any time he would have spent while charged awaiting trial.

    That's how cocked up this thing really is.

    He's trying to play the role of a martyr yet had he stayed and faced the music, he would have been labeled a typical Aussie sexual predator / lout. End of story.

    He would have been sent packing back to Australia and that would have been it.

  6. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
    Boffin

    @0laf Bzzzt!

    First, had been arrested in Sweden before fleeing jurisdiction. He would have been sent back to Australia, long before any extradition request would have been sent. So bollocks to that.

    Second, even if he had gone back to Sweden from the UK, again the UK could have nixed any extradition such that he would still have gone back to Australia when it was over.

    That said, Australia would have handed him over 'toot sweet' [sic] Meaning that he was already arrested for hacking US systems while a kid so he has a record in Australia and the complaint would have been a second offense against the US. Not to mention the US and Australia are on good terms.

    So if the US wanted him... they would get him via the Australian Government.

  7. chivo243 Silver badge
    Devil

    @RGE_Master

    Unless it's Club Fed...

  8. phuzz Silver badge
    Facepalm

    He was so worried about Sweden extraditing him to the US, that he fled to the UK.

    Because, as we all know, there's no chance of the UK cooperating with an extradition request from the US is there?

  9. DrXym Silver badge

    "I don't think the Swedish prison was the issue rather the Swedish extradition treaty with the US."

    As opposed to now where his self-inflicted situation has merely deprived him of his liberty for those years and any extradition/sentence (if they are forthcoming) will be consecutive to that. Great plan.

    If he had promptly surrendered to Swedish authorities his likely rape sentence would have be a year or two (assuming convicted) and even if he'd been extradited to the US and sentenced, then chances are he'd be through the better part of that by now. Instead he has all that to look forward to.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think I'd rather die than end up in an American Prison.

    I think that's the idea behind "deterrence".

  11. Rich 11 Silver badge

    I think that's the idea behind "deterrence".

    But at least ending up in an American prison isn't an actual death sentence. Mostly. They're certainly happy to consign people to cruel and unusual punishment though.

    If it's deterrence which is the aim then something has gone badly wrong. The US has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world yet also the highest crime rate in the OECD. Sounds like the War on Crime is about as effective as the War on Drugs.

  12. Persona

    Re: It's clear Ecuador is getting a little more than pissed off

    I'm hoping that the embassy will boot him out and he will flee the country before the UK authorities notice. Then at some later time when he is seeking publicity in some far flung country he will be arrested and extradited. For maximum irony, ideally I'm really hoping he will be in the USA and get extradited back to the UK to serve his time for skipping bail.

  13. Mark 85 Silver badge

    It's clear Ecuador is getting a little more than pissed off as well since they are now giving him rules that he must adhere to.

    Well, he's a "guest". The rules don't seem that harsh and most are common courtesy. If you're a guest, don't be a jackass, basically.

  14. Jellied Eel Silver badge

    Well, he's a "guest". The rules don't seem that harsh and most are common courtesy. If you're a guest, don't be a jackass, basically.

    But being a jackass (or grabass) is how this whole mess started (allegedly). One odd aspect is the way some people approve of Assange, yet disapproved of Kavanaugh's election to the Supreme Court. I guess Assange pre-dated a lot of the #MeToo attention. Also just as well he didn't try hiding in the Saudi embassy, although they do seem rather handy at disappearing people.

  15. overunder

    "I think I'd rather die than end up in an American Prison."

    You and the American Prison system share that view. As an American, I'm sort of sad you'd even have to think about it. Maybe one day we'll achieve 3rd world prison standards and bring back public executions. After all, Death Row inmates now have it better than the homeless and even some of the lower poverty levels (it's all out of whack).

  16. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    "and bring back public executions"

    Well, indeed. If you are too embarrassed to do it in public, perhaps you shouldn't be doing it.

  17. Scorchio!!

    Olaf, under the terms of the EAW Sweden could not release him to the USA for any reason; he could only be in Sweden on account of the allegations made against him. By fleeing to the UK he put himself in greater jeopardy, since Tony Blair gave the US a bend over, anything goes agreement. What happened is this; the police in Sweden advised his legal counsel that they intended, per Swedish CJS rules, to interview and then charge him. His counsel advised him. He fled to the UK, and the rest is history.

  18. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Good point, well presented... I think I'd rather die than end up in an American Prison.

    There's a good chance of ill health in British Prisons of late as well. At least the U.S spends money on theirs.

    Of course, after brexit we'll have all this spare cash, and no ECJ at some point, ooh, they'll be able to make it all up as they go along and bang up everyone they think deserves it.

  19. Stork Bronze badge

    I doubt he would be extradited to the US. Political offences are specifically exempt, and I would think this should be easy for a lawyer to argue.

    His problem may be to be told to leave Sweden, and then to avoid going to the US.

    Perhaps his mate Farage could put a word in with the Donald?

  20. midcapwarrior

    Highest incareration of any western country not any country

    Unless you believe North Korea, Syria, Cuba, Russia and any other third world dictatorship report their incarceration rate.

    I'd say it's more punitive than it is deterrence

  21. JohnG Silver badge

    "I don't think the Swedish prison was the issue rather the Swedish extradition treaty with the US."

    But the US never charged Assange (what would they charge him with? - he is not a US citizen) nor have the US authorities presented an extradition request for Assange to any country. The UK's extradition treaty with the USA is at least as strong as the one with Sweden and Britain might be more inclined to go along with " extraordinary rendition" than non-NATO Sweden. While Trump has expressed in interest in Assange, Obama's administration did not. Had he resolved everything with Sweden at the outset (it seems likely that they would not have actually taken the case to court), Assange could be long gone by now.

  22. LucreLout Silver badge

    Putting it bluntly, had he left at the time Sweden wanted him, he'd be a free man by now. Have you seen the prisons in Sweden, he'd have more freedom there that he does in London.

    Yes, but then he'd most likely be a convicted rapist or other flavor of sex offender. That'd rather undermine what he perceives as his credibility. Having made up the lie of hiding from American aggression and using it as an excuse to duck the Swedish investigation, he pretty much can't come out, at least unless we grant him safe passage to a non-extradition country, which we obviously won't do.

    It's clear Ecuador is getting a little more than pissed off as well since they are now giving him rules that he must adhere to.

    I assume if they had any idea he'd still be in the embassy all these years later, they'd have turned his request down flat.

    Ultimately, the best way to make sure he leaves is to simply deny him the oxygen of publicity. He seems to me to be a shallow megalomaniac with an ego the size of a small planet (or spacestation). Denying him external communication is a good way to reduce that oxygen. He'll never leave otherwise.

    There is no possible future in which either the UK grants safe passage to a non-extradition country without leaving the embassy and being arrested for bail jumping, and there is no possibility of an American president granting him immunity such that he feels safe from extradition. The irony being, of course, that Sweden was a lot less likely to extradite him than we are - see the "Natwest three" for details. Eventually, he's going to just have to leave and face the music - the only real question is how much he's willing to make his children suffer before he does, or whether he dies of cancer or something beforehand.

  23. LucreLout Silver badge

    what would they charge him with? - he is not a US citizen

    What possible defence to anything do you think that provides? American law considers that it has global reach, and his crimes are against American interests, so he's certainly within what they consider to be the scope of their law.

    While Trump has expressed in interest in Assange, Obama's administration did not.

    Indeed - he waited out one President, who barely even knew he existed, and who pardonned the person he got to do his dirty work, and waited until another was in situ who may be more volatile and definitely is aware of his existence. Stupidity reigns.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Highest incareration of any western country not any country

    Any *country*

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/262962/countries-with-the-most-prisoners-per-100-000-inhabitants/

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/uk/06/prisons/html/nn2page1.stm

    https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/28/us/mass-incarceration-five-key-facts/index.html

    (unless you believe these groups were somehow fooled by non-western statistics)

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Putting it bluntly, had he left at the time Sweden wanted him, he'd be a free man by now

    Depends on the STD he may have so generously donated. IMHO it's the only reason that makes sense of the whole affair: why he bailed after praising Sweden's liberal attitude, the girls asking the police to get in touch with him and the morphing from an initial complaint into a criminal investigation.

    Personally I think the expiry part of such investigations is wrong - Assange demonstrated how that can be used to dodge them despite a European arrest warrant for his unwashed backside.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ultimately, the best way to make sure he leaves is to simply deny him the oxygen of publicity.

    I think you could have ended that sentence right after "oxygen".

    It would also ensure he finally gets some colour. OK, it would be blue rather than pink, but I deem anything but his current pasty white an improvement.

    :)

  27. cray74 Silver badge

    The US has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world yet also the highest crime rate in the OECD

    Crime RATES or total number of crimes? The US undoubtedly has higher murder rates (absolute and per capita) with only the OECD's Turkey giving it a challenge on a per capita basis, but its rates of property crime (burglary, mugging, theft) and assault are less exceptional on a per capita basis. The UK, for example, has higher burglary and robbery per capita than the US.

  28. IsJustabloke Silver badge
    Meh

    yes but...

    "he'd be a free man by now"

    he'd also be a forgotten footnote in the history of twats.

    And he'd never be happy with that.

  29. This post has been deleted by its author

  30. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    "Well, indeed. If you are too embarrassed to do it in public, perhaps you shouldn't be doing it."

    There are quite a few countries which still have the death penalty, although far fewer of them actually still use it. There an interesting list of countries who have executed people in the last 5 years, an even shorter list of executions carried out last year, of which the USA is still a club member. I wonder if there a link between strongly religious countries and the death penalty?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-45835584?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/cp7r8vgl2rgt/reality-check&link_location=live-reporting-story

    Countries that carried out executions between 2013 and 2017:

    Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Botswana, Chad, China, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Taiwan, Thailand (2018), United Arab Emirates, USA, Vietnam and Yemen.

  31. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Trollface

    #FreeEmbassyCat

    #MeowToo

  32. Chris King Silver badge

    Re: #FreeEmbassyCat

    #MeowToo

    #CatLivesMatter (All nine of them)

  33. Commswonk Silver badge

    Re: #FreeEmbassyCat

    I am of the view that the Ecuadorian Embassy staff have taken this stance following complaints from the cat.

    It must find the smell intolerable, and I don't mean the litter tray...

  34. Andy 97

    Why would he leave?

    A central London pad with all the comforts of a nation's "shop window" for free.

    He doesn't even need to do any work to pay rent.

  35. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Re: Why would he leave?

    People pay to live in central London so that they can enjoy all that central London has to offer. Assange currently enjoys the same walls 24 hours a day.

  36. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    Re: Why would he leave?

    Embassy should make him pay his way. Bit of admin , clean the toilets , make the brews

  37. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    Re: Why would he leave?

    Given his legendary approach to personal hygiene, you probably don't want him making your coffee just after he's scrubbed the toilet. Let alone touching the biscuits...

  38. LucreLout Silver badge

    Re: Why would he leave?

    Embassy should make him pay his way. Bit of admin , clean the toilets , make the brews

    Any civilised thinking person would have offered to do all that on day one.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Why would he leave?

    Any civilised thinking person would have offered to do all that on day one.

    Allow me to highlight the problematic word in your sentence.. The man has about as much sophistication as the back end of a concrete mixer.

  40. MonsieurTM

    Apparently other restrictions:

    "Visitors are also slapped with new restrictions. They must submit visit requests in writing to the embassy chief, giving their name, nationality, profession and place of work, reason for visiting, email and social media accounts, and even the serial numbers for phones and other devices they wish to bring inside. The new rules even mandate the collection of IMEIs, unique identification numbers specific to a phone handset.

    While repeat visitors receive a less restrictive screening process, they can have their access revoked at any time without an explanation. All visitor data will be turned over to the Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other unspecified parties.

    The restrictions include a threat to use UK police to arrest visitors or seize communications equipment should the journalist violate the lengthy list of rules. Adding insult to injury, the embassy threatened to remove Assange's cat to a shelter should they decide he is not cleaning up after the animal properly."

    So if one wishes to visit Assange, one has to give over significantly intrusive details that may be passed on to "... other unspecified parties.". Wow. So potential total loss of "freedom" and welcome to no-fly lists, intrusive (TSA) customs searches, etc, etc.

    It is disgusting that Assange is held, without trial in an effective jail for so long. Call ourselves civilised: 3rd world countries must be laughing at our hypocrisy.

  41. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Mushroom

    RE:It is disgusting that Assange is held, without trial

    Oh do fuck off.

    Assange has only himself to blame. And to try and pretend he is equivalent to the real victims of terror states, and arbitrary imprisonment is an insult to them.

  42. skuba*steve

    It is disgusting that Assange is held, without trial in an effective jail for so long

    "It is entirely his own doing that he is hiding from a trial under the protection of another sovereign state to avoid extradition"

    FIFY

  43. Chris Miller

    Re: RE:It is disgusting that Assange is held, without trial

    Exactly, Jimmy - Assange is entirely free to leave the embassy whenever he wishes. Of course, he will then have to account for his actions, including failure to answer to bail, something he has shown extreme reluctance to do. Some of his former friends may wish to talk to him about the bail they put up, as well.

  44. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    So, by your reasoning, if I'm ever on the run from the law, I can come and sleep on your sofa, eat from your fridge, and if you ask me to clean the toilet after myself, I'm being imprisoned, despite the fact that I can leave at any time and am living rent free in your house, and you're not handing me over to the cops?

    You, sir, are a total bell-end.

  45. James O'Shea Silver badge

    "It is disgusting that Assange is held, without trial in an effective jail for so long."

    He's not being held anywhere. He can walk out of his rent-free accommodations any time he wants. To be sure, he will then get different rent-free accommodations. And a free flight to sunny Sweden, followed by more rent-free accommodations.

  46. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
    Boffin

    @James O'Shea

    Not quite.

    At this point, its not clear that Sweden will still want him. There's just a single charge and if put on trial, memories would have faded so Sweden may take a pass.

    This doesn't stop the UK for enforcing the jumping bail. And they will do that since he's cost them a pretty penny in terms of overtime.

    He 'walks out' or is dumped out, he will face UK music, then back to Australia. Then its up to Jeff Sessions to see if the US wants him or not.

  47. Mr Humbug

    "Adding insult to injury, the embassy threatened to remove Assange's cat to a shelter should they decide he is not cleaning up after the animal properly."

    I don't understand why people think this is unreasonable. If it was my embassy he wouldn't have been allowed to bring a cat in the first place.

  48. macjules Silver badge

    3rd world countries must be laughing at our hypocrisy.

    Nope, those are the ones hosting him and asking him to clean up the loo afterwards. Perhaps you should go round there and help him clean his loo? Stand firm, democracy needs you!

  49. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    Joke

    Ambiguous Phrases Я Us

    > It is disgusting that Assange is held, without trial in an effective jail for so long.

    Indeed, we should take every action to ensure he is tried. More than once if necessary.

  50. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    Re: @James O'Shea

    This doesn't stop the UK for enforcing the jumping bail. And they will do that since he's cost them a pretty penny in terms of overtime.

    Are they *still* doing the "copper-stood-outside" thing, it was costing a million a year or something ridiculous, or did they call it a day?

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