Six Months Trapped in Embassy

RootsAction Board Member Jeff Cohen at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

Six months ago RootsAction members flooded Ecuador's government with requests to grant asylum to the founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange.

Ecuador did so.

But Assange has been unable to leave the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, facing the threat of arrest and extradition to the United States, where he could face life in prison or even death.

Sweden, in an apparently unprecedented move, is seeking to extradite and imprison someone without charging him with a crime -- after having refused opportunities to fully question him in England.

We don't know the facts behind the sexual assault accusations against Assange in Sweden and can take no position on them.  We take sexual assault seriously.  But the WikiLeaks leader is seeking protection from the United States, not Sweden.

Sweden has a record of bowing to U.S. pressure, including the handing over of two men to the CIA in 2006 -- leading the U.N. to find Sweden complicit in torture. 

The United States reportedly has a sealed indictment prepared for Assange, charging him with crimes against "national security."

The United States has a record of, and an open formal policy of, incarceration without proper trial, solitary confinement and other abusive treatment, and the death penalty.  Assange has the international human right to be protected from such a nation and to request asylum elsewhere.

Assange, neither charged with nor convicted of any crime, is acting out of fear of our nation's abuses of the rule of law.

Ask President Obama to publicly end his practice of prosecuting whistleblowers and journalists, and commit to permitting Assange to travel free of U.S. interference.