- By Joshua Keating
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.
Update: The Guardian reports that an Ecuadorean official says the government will grant Assange’s asylum request. However, it "remains unclear if giving Assange asylum will allow him to leave Britain and fly to Ecuador, or amounts to little more than a symbolic gesture."
Update 2: Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa denies having made a decision.
Adding another wrinkle to the question of whether Ecuador will grant asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, currently holed up at the country’s embassy in London, is how they would get him on a plane out of the country even if they wanted to. Reuters — or as WikiLeaks calls it, the "favourite UK FCO/MI6 outlet", reports:
"It’s not only about whether to grant the asylum, because for Mr. Assange to leave England he should have a safe pass from the British (government). Will that be possible? That’s an issue we have to take into account."
Assange is in breach of his British bail conditions and the British police have said he is liable to arrest if he steps out of the embassy, which is located in London’s ritzy Knightsbridge area, miles away from any airport.
It appears unlikely that the British government would give Assange safe passage to an airport as that would mean going against the Swedish arrest warrant and a ruling by Britain’s own Supreme Court that the warrant was valid.
This has been a major issue in previous asylum cases. Reformist Hungarian communist leader Imre Nagy, who took refuge in the Yugoslavian embassy during the Soviet invastion of 1956, was promised safe passage out of the country but then arrested the moment he stepped out of the compound. Another leader of the Hungarian uprising, Cardinal Joseph Mindszenty, had to spend the next 15 years living in the U.S. embassy before he was granted permission to leave the country.
Can you stash a person in a diplomatic pouch? Ecuador’s diplomatic service does have some… er… experience in that sort of thing.
Uri Friedman is deputy managing editor at Foreign Policy. Before joining FP, he reported for the Christian Science Monitor, worked on corporate strategy for Atlantic Media, helped launch the Atlantic Wire, and covered international affairs for the site. A proud native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he studied European history at the University of Pennsylvania and has lived in Barcelona, Spain and Geneva, Switzerland.| The List |
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |