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UK: Julian Assange 'arbitrarily detained' by UK and Sweden - UN panel finds00:43

UK: Julian Assange 'arbitrarily detained' by UK and Sweden - UN panel finds

United Kingdom, London
February 5, 2016 at 10:03 GMT +00:00 · Published

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is being 'arbitrarily detained' in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, a UN panel ruled in Geneva on Friday.

A statement issued by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said, "The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) … considered that Mr. Julian Assange was arbitrarily detained by the Governments of Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland."

Furthermore, the expert panel demanded that the Swedish and British governments end Assange's "deprivation of liberty, respect his physical integrity and freedom of movement, and afford him the right to compensation."

Yet, regardless of the outcome, UK authorities have said they will arrest Assange if he steps on to British territory since they are bound by a European arrest warrant.

For the past three years Assange has lived in the Ecuadorian embassy, where he took refuge in order to avoid extradition to Sweden on a rape charge which he denies. Ecuador has granted asylum to Assange, and its foreign minister Ricardo Patino has said the WikiLeaks founder is welcome to stay in the embassy.

Assange fears that should he go to Sweden he will be extradited to the USA to faces trial over WikiLeaks' publication of leaked classified US diplomatic cables.

UK: Julian Assange 'arbitrarily detained' by UK and Sweden - UN panel finds00:43
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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is being 'arbitrarily detained' in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, a UN panel ruled in Geneva on Friday.

A statement issued by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said, "The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) … considered that Mr. Julian Assange was arbitrarily detained by the Governments of Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland."

Furthermore, the expert panel demanded that the Swedish and British governments end Assange's "deprivation of liberty, respect his physical integrity and freedom of movement, and afford him the right to compensation."

Yet, regardless of the outcome, UK authorities have said they will arrest Assange if he steps on to British territory since they are bound by a European arrest warrant.

For the past three years Assange has lived in the Ecuadorian embassy, where he took refuge in order to avoid extradition to Sweden on a rape charge which he denies. Ecuador has granted asylum to Assange, and its foreign minister Ricardo Patino has said the WikiLeaks founder is welcome to stay in the embassy.

Assange fears that should he go to Sweden he will be extradited to the USA to faces trial over WikiLeaks' publication of leaked classified US diplomatic cables.

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