Security Versus Freedom of the Press
Britain appears to have got itself into a Catch-22 situation regarding Julian Assange, who is currently in refuge in the Embassy of Ecuador in London.
Assange is wanted in the US for his publishing of hundreds of secret documents on WikiLeaks which, the Americans argue, has caused damage to the country’s security and to the safety of its soldiers and military personnel serving in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Assange, an Australian citizen, has been charged with sexual offences in Sweden.
The Swedish government has requested that the British government extradite him to Sweden to face these charges. In turn, Assange and his supporters argue that these are trumped-up charges which have been made as a means of extraditing him from Sweden to the USA to face charges of endangering US national security, which could, if he is found guilty, result in life imprisonment.
For the past two months, Assange has taken refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Last week, the Ecuadorian government decided to grant Ecuadorian citizenship to Assange, which would enable him to travel to Ecuador without the fear of being arrested there. In turn, the British government has announced that the minute Assange leaves the diplomatic safety of the Ecuadorian embassy he will be arrested on British soil and sent to Sweden to face trial.