It’s almost four years since Julian Assange took refuge in London’s Ecuadorian embassy. Now, according to the BBC, a UN panel has ruled that he has been “unlawfully detained”.
Assange complained to the UN’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in 2014 that his living in 27 square metres within the Ecuadorian Embassy was unwarranted and had taken a toll on his health. The BBC now reports that the panel will rule in his favour, though an official announcement hasn’t yet been made. A formal decision will be made public tomorrow.
Assange already has a vision for what he’ll do when the official news arrives. Via the WikiLeaks Twitter account, he’s explained that:
Should the UN announce tomorrow that I have lost my case against the United Kingdom and Sweden, I shall exit the embassy at noon on Friday to accept arrest by British police as there is no meaningful prospect of further appeal.
If he wins, as the BBC seems to think?
However, should I prevail and the state parties be found to have acted unlawfully, I expect the immediate return of my passport and the termination of further attempts to arrest me.
Others may beg to differ. The verdict of the panel wouldn’t have any actual influence over what British and Swedish authorities actually do.
London’s police force has already pointed out that a ruling from the UN wouldn’t undermine the European arrest warrant against him, and say he’d still be taken into custody if he were to leave the embassy.
Image by AP