What happens to Julian Assange? Anyone who had hoped for the 41-year-old Australian's appearance on Sunday in the heart of London for concrete information about his future was disappointed. The Internet rebellion appeared in his light blue shirt, red tie and new short hairstyle and did what he could on the embassy balcony: he kindly thanked the people and the president of Ecuador, who granted him asylum last Thursday. And just as with his supporters all over the world.
Assange seemed to enjoy this scene after months without a public appearance: he was on the balcony, just below his feet a hundred police - but out of reach. The Wikileaks founder deliberately did not leave the territory of Ecuador - otherwise he would have risked his arrest by Scotland Yard. With his flight to the embassy eight weeks ago, he had broken the conditions that had kept him from leaving the country for Sweden. The local authorities want to get him into the hands of an EU-wide arrest warrant, because he is charged with sexual offenses.
In his 19-minute speech, there was something between the lines that could be heard about what Assange might have in the coming days and weeks. He explicitly referred to support from South and Central America and referred to countries such as Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Honduras or Venezuela. Obviously he wants to build maximum diplomatic pressure with the help of his lawyer Baltasar Garzón and the government of Ecuador.
After all, he has already managed to keep five nations diplomatically busy with Australia, Great Britain, Ecuador, Sweden and the USA. On Sunday, the foreign ministers of the South American countries wanted to meet and agree on an attitude to his case. Next Friday in Washington, the Organization of American States (OAS) Foreign Ministers will meet to discuss the Assange case.
Venezuela's left-wing President Hugo Chavez has already expressed his open support for the Ecuadorian line. Colombia and Argentina are also said to be behind Ecuador's President Rafael Correa. The Australian has thus turned from a case for the judges into a case for big politics. That the UK had committed diplomatic clumsiness and threatened to invade the Embassy of Ecuador and invade its inviolability status may have played into the pro-Assange camp.
Movement can only bring Sweden. Behind the scenes has been done for weeks to move the Scandinavians to a compromise. They might agree to arrange an Assange interrogation in London - or give a guarantee that they will not pass on the Australian to the US. This was his great concern, he said, about his lawyers. Assange is not afraid of prosecution in Sweden, but is afraid of extradition to the US. So far, however, the Swedes have not given a millimeter of ground.
Assange received prominent support in the large-scale appearance in front of the world press. That fashion designer Vivienne Westwood exclaimed in a read-out statement: "I'm Julian Assange", you can confidently register under the heading Political Show. On the other hand, it became more serious when the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, declared that it was "routine" in international secret diplomacy that politically unpleasant people would be charged with criminal charges, preferably with sexual offenses.
In fact, the way the assassinations of Assange came about in the summer of 2010 raises some questions. Not even an indictment against him exists so far. Answering the unanswered questions, in turn, would be up to Assange. He denies the attacks on two young Swedes, but contributes little to the education. How long will the story of the most prominent revelator of the present still revolve around itself? Nobody can predict the outcome of the thriller at the moment. Once again, the door closed behind Assange on the embassy balcony in the posh Knightsbridge district of London. (Dpa / tc)