8 of 9Image
6. Julian Assange: Ambassador to the U.N.?
Diplomatic tensions between Ecuador and the U.K. are already tense as it is. Giving Assange diplomatic status, such as the next ambassador to the United Nations or a member of its mission in that country, would give the Wikileaks founder the right to walk out of the embassy without the chance of arrest.
Only the ambassador's job is off the cards.
He would be immune from U.K. prosecution. The Vienna Convention states a diplomatic agent shall be "inviolable." It adds: "He shall not be liable to any form of arrest or detention. The receiving state shall treat him with due respect and shall take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on his person, freedom or dignity."
This option would significantly ramp up already fraught relations between the two countries, and could see such a flagrant disregard for U.K. justice as enough of a move for the U.K. to rescind Ecuador's embassy status in London. This would mean that little patch of Ecuadorian soil becomes U.K. soil once again and the police can freely walk in and arrest the embattled Assange.
Image credit: Flickr.
7. Ecuador could appeal to the 'World Court'
The Ecuadorian government could always appeal to the International Court of Justice, the so-called "World Court," to claim the U.K. isn't being fair in its decision to not allow Assange safe passage out of the country.
The court could rule in Ecuador's favor and force the U.K. police to back down to allow Assange out of the country, and on a plane to Ecuador.
U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Thursday after Assange's asylum status was granted that the U.K. would arrest him regardless of his successful bid. But the U.K. doesn't recognize diplomatic asylum, unlike many Latin American countries.
But the court ruled in 1950 that diplomatic asylum is not recognized unless two countries have agreements or treaties in place. Ecuador's move to grant Assange asylum may be ultimately symbolic.
Still, the U.K. has yet to formally request that Ecuador hands him over, in which under international law the Ecuadorians would be legally obliged to send Assange on his way and out of the front door.
Image credit: Flickr.
8. Hold the fort and stay in the embassy indefinitely?
Even with all this, he has two viable options: stay in the embassy indefinitely, or walk out and be arrested.
The U.K. could revoke the Ecuadorian's diplomatic status in London and storm the embassy, dragging out Julian Assange whether he likes it or not. But this will leave U.K. embassies abroad at serious risk, and damage not only the U.K.--Ecuador relationship, but potentially damage many more across the board.
But ultimately, it's looking likely that Assange will have to remain in the Ecuadorian embassy indefinitely. It's not the first time it's happened, except it was a Catholic priest, the U.S. embassy in Hungary, and during the Soviet era.
Jozsef Mindszenty spend 15 years in the U.S. embassy. Assange could feasibly spend the same amount of time there, subject to his host's willingness to keep the Australian there.
It looks like -- at least for now -- Assange will not leave the embassy's grounds for the near future.
Image credit: Charlie Osborne/ZDNet.