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Is it Right to Force Entry into Foreign Embassy


Book Reviewer
I cannot see HMG taking such drastic action. It would set a precedent that could have repercussions around the world.


The Embassy only has one asylum seeker, whereas we have hundreds of thousands of the feckers, many of which need removing, well that's if you could find them.

If it is true it's just a load of wind and piss from HMG.


War Hero
That is the danger of selective reporting - by Wikileaks and the Ecuadorean government.

The Ecuadorean embassy is not Ecuadorean territory. The land remains British and the extent of diplomatic immunity reaches no further than the diplomats accredited to that embassy (as I understand it). Julian Assange is neither Ecuadorean nor is he a diplomat and therefore he cannot expect the same degree of immunity and/or protection.

The principle of permitting asylum is fairly common in South America but has not been accepted elsewhere (especially not in Europe) where host nations insist that diplomatic missions instruct their staff that they have an obligation to obey the laws of the host nation.

In this instance it is clear that Ecuador is attempting to subvert the UKs legal obligation to extradite Assange to Sweden to stand trial (on the presumption of innocence until proven guilty) of a crime committed in Sweden.

If there is any attempt to breach diplomatic convention it is by Ecuador who are attempting to pervert the course of justice by interfering in due legal process in a democratic host nation that has pursued all appropriate legal channels. Hopefully they will see sense and kick the little shit out


On the Beeb today, says to winkle him out the government would have to suspend diplomatic immunity, remove him then re-instate immunity, as he aint part of the staff, it must be refering to the land.


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Wikileaks: Government threatens to take Julian Assange out of Ecuador's embassy - Telegraph
Cannot recall HMG threatening to revoke the Embassy status of the Libyan Embassy and then arresting the man who shot Yvonne Fletcher.
Yet here we are threatening to effectively storm an Embassy at the behest of the Swedish Government, or some other unnamed third party determined on a course of retribution.

The legislation quoted in the article was brought into law in 1987, three years after the Yvonne Fletcher incident, and was was designed to prevent a repeat.

MG Maniac

War Hero
Three pieces of international law can be used to support an asylum application.

1. Under the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, asylum seekers must show that they have a well-founded fear of persecution due to their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group, and are unable or unwilling to seek protection from the authorities in their own country. The definition is forward-looking, so even if an asylum seeker has suffered terrible harm in the past, they will not get asylum if there is no risk of anything happening to them in the future. It is not always necessary to have been persecuted in the past for a future risk to exist – sometimes events that occur after a person’s arrival in the UK can give rise to a future risk of persecution in their own country (for example, due to changes of circumstances in the person’s country of origin since they left). These are known as ‘sur place’ claims.

2. It is also possible for a person to apply to remain in the UK if removing them would be in breach of their rights laid down in the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). This is often called a human rights claim. The ECHR contains a number of 'Articles' of protected rights. Most human rights claims are based on Article 3 (prohibition on torture and inhuman or degrading treatment) or Article 8 (right to respect for family life and private life). A human rights claim can be part of an asylum claim under the Refugee Convention, or it can stand alone.

3. The UK is also party to the European Union Asylum Qualification Directive. This has been adopted by EU member states as part of the process of establishing a Common European Asylum System. All asylum or human rights claims must be considered in light of the provisions of the Qualification Directive. It is intended to ensure that common criteria for identifying people in need of international protection are applied, and that a minimum level of benefits is available for those granted status in EU member states

Source "Asylum Aid"

I fail to see how Mr Assange qualifies under International Law in obtaining Asylum from a South American Country. Unfortunately its the Govt of Equador that would have to suspend "Diplomatic Immunity" to allow the UK Police to go in and get him and I don't think they would.

To my mind we could

1. Withdraw any finacial aid that UK gives Equador and expell all the diplomats from the country and keep doing so until they get fed up and throw Assange out on his ear.

2. Lock the Embassy down so he can't get out ... with todays modern surveillance techniques it would be reasonable to be able to detect him hidden in the boot of the ambassador's merc ... until Equador gets fed up with him being a non paying guest and toss him out on the streets.

3. Let him escape and arrest him at the airport ... as he would not be an accredited diplomat thus not under diplomatic immunity!



War Hero


Lantern Swinger
I believe the point is that (post the Fletcher shooting) the UK worked out it could basically say "that isn't your embassy any more" and thus the embassy isn't. They would still be obliged to recognise the staff and belongings of said embassy as diplomats - but Assange isn't an accredited diplomat (and local employees don't have blanket immunity).

A glance at the Google street view for the embassy seems to imply it is just a floor of a building - there isn't a car park which is inside the grounds, so getting him into a car isn't feasible. Basically short of some kind of risky Cold War plot Assange is stuck inside the building until such time as he gives himself up or Ecuador kicks him out. Similar to Noriega after Panama (where apparently the Yanks set up loudspeakers playing loud rock outside the embassy - including Van Halen's Panama...)

Still don't think it is a good idea though - China has been a good example of people seeking asylum in Western embassies recently, including one who helped expose the murder of the British businessman.
...A glance at the Google street view for the embassy seems to imply it is just a floor of a building - there isn't a car park which is inside the grounds, so getting him into a car isn't feasible. Basically short of some kind of risky Cold War plot Assange is stuck inside the building until such time as he gives himself up or Ecuador kicks him out. Similar to Noriega after Panama (where apparently the Yanks set up loudspeakers playing loud rock outside the embassy - including Van Halen's Panama...)

Still don't think it is a good idea though - China has been a good example of people seeking asylum in Western embassies recently, including one who helped expose the murder of the British businessman.

There's more than one way to skin a cat:

Hansard 6 July 1984 said:
"The Metropolitan Police were informed yesterday at 12.40 p.m. of the suspected abduction of Mr. Umaru Dikko, a Nigerian living in this country, who was formerly a member of the Government of Nigeria. The call to the police by his personal assistant, Miss Elizabeth Hayes, said that at about 12.25 p.m. he had been taken in a van after a struggle.

"Because of the possibility that attempts might be made to remove him from this country a special 520 watch was mounted at ports. As a result, suspicions were aroused by two large crates which arrived at about 4 p.m. at Stansted to be loaded on to a Nigerian Airways cargo aircraft. The crates were not diplomatic bags as defined by the Vienna Convention. The crates were accordingly opened. I understand that members of the High Commission were already at Stansted and a Mr. Idet was invited to inspect the crates. Two people were found in each crate. One crate contained Mr. Dikko, who was unconscious, and another man, who was conscious and in possession of drugs and syringes. The other crate contained two men, both conscious. Mr. Dikko is now recovering satisfactorily under police guard in hospital and will be questioned as soon as he is well enough. A total of 17 people, including the remaining three found in the crates, were arrested by the police and are being questioned. None of those arrested has claimed diplomatic immunity,

"My right honourable friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary summoned the High Commissioner for Nigeria to see him at 9 a.m. this morning and told him that he took a most serious view of the incident. The High Commissioner undertook to convey a report of the meeting to his Government. He denied any High Commission or Nigerian Government involvement in the incident. The Foreign Secretary said he expected the fullest co-operation from the Nigerian High Commissioner, including the waiver of diplomatic immunity, if that were necessary for the purpose of ensuring justice."

Incidentally, I agree with your sentiments w.r.t. embassies remaining inviolate.


War Hero
Bluming hech CT 50+ pages to read?

Article 3 on page 3 of 56 sums up the pickle they are in, are they applying these rules?

Article 22 simply states:
The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving state shall not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.

We signed up to the convention and remain signed up to the convention despite the contradictory 1987 domestic legislation (aren't politicians silly) , therefore we have a choice. We abide by the rules laid down in the UN convention and wait it out or we contravene them (but not our domestic laws) and make ourselves look stupid by publicly dismissing the very rules that protect our own diplomatic staff, citizens and other asylum seekers overseas.

More than just a pickle.


I concur with chieftiff as he has made an accurate appraisal of the situation, as he has now been granted asylum it will be interesting to see what HMGs next move will be.


War Hero
It occurs to me that if you're going to storm into another country's embassy to grab someone the last thing you should be doing is letting them know beforehand.Ecuador had not declared their intention when the threat was issued and it wouldn't surprise me if they decided to give Assange asylum just to put two fingers up to the Foreign Office.
I couldn't give a fish's tit what happens to Assange but only wish that it happens fast so no more expensive resources like Plod lurking around 24/7 can get back to doing something useful.


It's my opinion that the Ecuadorian's have done the right thing, I for one would not like to see Julian sent to the USA to face some kangaroo court and let us not forget that the States has the death penalty.

All this nonsense about storming the embassy is exactly that; nonsense.
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