The UN panel rules Julian Assange is in arbitrary detention

Pierluigi Paganini February 06, 2016

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention ruled that Julian Assange ’ forced permanence in the Ecuadorian embassy is an “arbitrary detention.”

On Friday, the commission of the United Nation decided that Julian Assange is being illegally detained since his arrest in London over four years ago.

Assange has been residing in the embassy since 2012 to avoid extradition, the popular journalist is facing sexual assault allegations in Sweden, meanwhile, the United States ask him to respond the accusation of cyber espionage for publishing classified US military and diplomat documents.

Julian Assange filed a complaint against the United Kingdom and Sweden governments in September 2014 that has been analyzed by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

The UN group has ruled that the UK and Swedish authorities have violated the international human rights obligations illegally detaining Assange.

Julian Assange should be immediately released, the authorities have to allow him to leave the Ecuadorian embassy. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention also requests that both the UK and Sweden should compensate Julian Assange for his “deprivation of liberty.”

“Having concluded that there was a continuous deprivation of liberty, the Working Group also found that the detention was arbitrary because he was held in isolation during the first stage of detention and because of the lack of diligence by the Swedish Prosecutor in its investigations, which resulted in the lengthy detention of Mr. Assange,” reads the UN report.

Unfortunately, UK and Sweden seems no accept the decision of the UN and they will not let Assange leave the country.

Assange US decision 2

Anna Ekberg, spokesperson for the Swedish foreign ministry, said: “The UN working group on arbitrary detention has concluded that Mr Assange is arbitrarily detained. The working group’s view differs from that of the Swedish authorities. We will forward a reply to the working group tomorrow. It will be more clear tomorrow why we reject the working group’s conclusions.”

The UK Foreign Office Secretary Philip Hammond defined the decision of the UN panel as “ridiculous”, he also defined Julian Assange a “fugitive from justice.”

Evidently the UK Foreign Office Secretary is ignoring that his Government has a legal obligation to extradite Assange.
Hammond added that the decision “changes nothing,” meanwhile the Assange’s lawyer, Melinda Taylor, said that Swedish and British government should respect the UN panel’s decision.

“If WGAD issues a positive determination, Mr. Assange expects the United Kingdom and Sweden to ensure that he can immediately exercise his right to personal liberty, in a manner which is consistent with his right to safety and protection from retaliatory acts associated with his groundbreaking work at WikiLeaks in exposing government violations and abuses,” Taylor told Newsweek.

Melinda Taylor is asking Sweden for dropping the extradition request, called for the UK to return Assange’s passport and give him assurances that he would not be arrested.
The same UN’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in the past ruled in favor of other people that today are free, including:
  • Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, who was released in Iran last month.
  • Former pro-democracy President Mohamed Nasheed freed in the Maldives last year.
  • Burmese stateswoman Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest in 2010.

Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – Julian Assange, UN Panel)

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