A supporter has sent in the response they received after sending in this letter to David Cameron (Prime Minister) regarding the case against Julian Assange.
See here for a PDF of the letter sent from Lucy Dee of the Home Office Direct Communications Unit.
Notable points the letter raises are:
“ Neither the Prime Minister nor the Home Secretary has the power to intervene in Mr Assange’s case in the manner you suggest.”
“There is no evidence to suggest that Mr Assange will not received a fair trial once he is extradited to Sweden….As for the issues you raise in relation to the Swedish authorities and their conduct- I hope you understand that is something the Home Office is unable to comment on.”
“There are legal safeguards for persons who have been extradited from the UK to another Member State of the EU, and whose extradition is then requested by a third country. Under EU legislation on the EAW (which applies to both the United Kingdom and Sweden), a person who has been surrendered from one Member State of the EU (e.g. the United Kingdom to Sweden) pursuant to an EAW, shall not be extradited to a third State without the consent of the Member State which surrendered the person. Consent may only be given in accordance with the international conventions by which that State is bound, including the ECHR, and also its domestic law. In such circumstances, the Home Secretary would determine whether extradition is barred under the 2003 Extradition Act, this would involve careful consideration of a number of factors, including human rights.
I would stress that none of the above should be taken as an indication of the existence of any extradition request for Mr Assange from a third country.”
Whether or not Theresa May (Home Sectretary) has received a request by the US for her consent to have Julian Assange further extradited from Sweden to the US is important and it appears she has not been forthcoming when asked to comment on this.
To find out more about the 2003 Extradtion treaty, in particular the process of further extradition, see here and open up Section 58.
Consider writing to your MP and insisting that questions are answered about the reluctance of the Home Secretary to give assurances that she will not consent to his further extradition. A template letter has been posted at the forum and you can cut and paste from it here:
Dear (your MP’s name)
I am writing with continued concerns about the situation of Julian Assange and the complexities of the political context surrounding his work with the media organisation WikiLeaks.
As you are aware Mr Assange is currently seeking political asylum at the Ecuador Embassy in London. Due to the political reactions towards his work there are some very real concerns that:
– he will not receive a fair treatment if extradited to Sweden
– he will face further extradition to the US from Sweden
I am writing to ask you specifically about the role of the UK Home Secretary Theresa May and her power with regards to the further extradition of Mr Assange to the US. I have recently read (http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/jul/26/ecuador-julian-assange-extradition-us) that:
“The senior legal adviser to the Ecuadoreans said that the home secretary, Theresa May, would need to waive specialty under section 58 of the Extradition Act 2003, before Assange could be extradited from Sweden to the US.
Despite repeated requests from Ecuador, the Foreign Office has not said whether or not May intends to exercise her powers to allow for any potential future extradition to the US.”
I understand from this that our Home Secretary would be in a unique position with regards to the authorisation of the further extradition of Mr Assange from Sweden to the US and I wish you to clarify certain points for me in light of this.
Mr Assange and the legal team supporting him have made it very clear throughout his detainment in the UK that, with evidence of a secret US grand Jury in relation to WikiLeaks (http://wikileaks.org/Stratfor-Emails-US-Has-Issued.html), there is a very real threat that Mr Assange will face extradition to the US. Being aware of this and the length of time that Mr Assange has been fighting extradition to Sweden due to this fear it would be somewhat prudent for Ms May to directly offer Mr Assange assurances that:
– consent has not been made regarding his further extradition to the US or
– Ms May would not offer consent should such a request be made
It is clear that, despite repeated requests, no such assurances have been made and I would appreciate you explaining to me why such clarity would not be forthcoming. If there are no grounds for Mr Assange to be concerned about his possible extradition to the US why would Ms May not publicly assert this? Would this reassurance not help pave the way for Mr Assange to defend himself in relation to the allegations made about him in Sweden?
It would be somewhat logical to assume that Ms May is unable to issue this reassurance and it would follow that she is unable to do so only because consent has, indeed, been sought by the US in relation to Mr Assange facing further extradition. I note that it is stated within subsection 4 of Section 58 of the 2003 Extradition Act that, should she deem it ‘impracticable,’ Ms May would not be obliged to uphold the right of Mr Assange to be made aware that she had received a request for consent.
I would like you to answer specifically and succinctly my following questions:
1) Will you urge Theresa May, Home Secretary, to publicly state that she would not waive specialty under section 58 of the Extradition Act 2003 to ensure that Julian Assange could not be extradited from Sweden to the US?
2) Why would the Home Secretary refuse to issue this assurance sought of her regarding further extradition to the US?
3) Do you agree that the consequences of not issuing this assurance work to fuel fears that consent has indeed been requested of Ms May by the US?
4) If consent has been sought for further extradition what reasons would entitle Ms May, under subsection 4 of Section 58 of the 2003 Extradition Act, to deem it impracticable to serve the required notice upon Mr Assange?
5) Will you, if you have not already done so, sign the EDM 128 for the reform of the Extradition Act?
I look forward to hearing from you
Yours, (your name)
Share any letters you send and any responses you get. We may not always get an ‘engaged’ response from our political representatives but this in itself is a reason to keep insisting for answers. We need to show we are watching.