19 August 2012
Why Assange Remained Within an Embassy Window to Deliver a Speech
Assange speech photos:
Based on photos of Assange's appearance at the Ecuadorian Embassy he carefully
did not cross the legal boundary of the embassy, that is, the national boundary
of Ecuador, by stepping onto the balcony where two videographers were positioned.
(A protruding balcony is considered to be outside a building in most laws
governing buildings.) This could indicate recognition that if he had crossed
the boundary police could have entered the embassy to arrest him on the grounds
that he had breached the national boundary and thereby lost asylum protection.
An inadvertent transgression, violating a precise definition of a boundary
like a national border, has been used in many other cases to pursue a person
across the boundary -- borders of the Soviet satellites and US borders, for
Assange was awkwardly positioned in the embassy window frame to face the
entire widespread crowd as he would have been able to do if he had stood
on the balcony.
Toward the end of his speech Assange looked skyward, perhaps toward a helicopter
which may have been video-taping his exact position. A toe, a foot, an arm
might be forgiven, but a fully body likely not. Evidence will tell if he
went too far, or will be accused of doing so.
His own two videographers will have evidence of compliance, although
it is not clear if his lower body was taped. Photographs taken by the crowd
could show more if they were zoomed to the border of Ecuador at Assange's
Not to be overlooked, however, is that his position within the window frame
could have been for quick escape against violence or kidnap, official or
Assange is an inch or so taller than the interior frame of the window (photos
show he stooped to pass through the frame). Thus it would have been more
convenient to move to the balcony for the speech if not advised against it.
Assange's shoe remains on the window sill, the Ecuador national boundary.
Shoe and sill enlarged below.
Shoe toe over the sill edge but within the Ecuador boundary.