UN Panel Rules That, Yes, Julian Assange Has Been Arbitrarily Detained

UN Panel Rules That, Yes, Julian Assange Has Been Arbitrarily Detained

A United Nations panel has ruled that Julian Assange has been "arbitrarily detained by the Governments of Sweden and the United Kingdom" and believes he is "entitled to his freedom of movement". Assange and his legal team 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. Now, the panel has determined that Assange has "been subjected to different forms of deprivation of liberty" since his initial arrest back in 2010. It explains:

The Working Group therefore requested Sweden and the United Kingdom to assess the situation of Mr. Assange to ensure his safety and physical integrity, to facilitate the exercise of his right to freedom of movement in an expedient manner, and to ensure the full enjoyment of his rights guaranteed by the international norms on detention. The Working Group also considered that the detention should be brought to an end and that Mr. Assange should be afforded the right to compensation.

Swedish authorities have been seeking Assange over allegations of rape, but he has resisted questioning -- largely over fears that he may end up extradited to the US. If that happened, he'd likely face some severe charges over the files he exposed during the WikiLeaks releases that started in 2010.

The BBC first reported news about the UN panel's decision yesterday. At the time, Assange took to Twitter to explain that:

[S]hould 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.

The verdict, however, doesn't actually have any influence over what British and Swedish authorities do -- as countries around the world ruled by the UN to violate human rights would attest. Indeed, London's police force has already pointed out that the UN ruling doesn't undermine the European arrest warrant against him, and say he'd still be taken into custody if he were to leave the embassy.

According to BBC Radio 4, Assange will provide a reaction to the news via Skype later today.

[UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention]

Image by AP



    Easy fix, he can just walk out the front door. No one is forcing him to stay there.

      Someone please explain this, he walked in freely, and could walk out freely. Who is detaining him apart from himself?

      How did the UN come to this decision?

      Last edited 06/02/16 10:06 am

        He can't walk out freely without being extradited to Sweden, and in turn get extradited to the US where he will probably get a very unfair trial.

          So he is avoiding questioning, I don't believe he would he extradited to the US.

          But again. The extradition does not stop him from leaving the embassy. He is not forced to stay. He chooses too.

            Assange offered to allow sweden to question him in the UK, But they refused. Even though they questioned 44 other people in the uk during that time.

          Worried about Sweden extraditing him to the US while the UK can also do it makes the reason a complete load of bullshit.

          Face it, The US cant even touch Snowden and trust me if the US really wanted either of them they would of already got them. Its quite easy for Countries to do a Prisoner exchange especially in the dead of night

            It is not bullshit, An espionage case against him does exists. And it has been confirmed publically by the FBI and US Justice department many times. So his fears are very real. The US really is that butthurt that he exposed their war crimes.

            Last edited 06/02/16 2:33 pm

    Notice how so many other Whistleblowers have been willing to go to Jail as they believe they were doing the right thing? But Julian Assange believes he is too good for this, that the world NEEDS him there having vast resources wasted on him.

    Perhaps he is more scared now that if he leaves, goes to Sweden and is never extradited to the US (Which is most likely what will happen) he will be exposed to the whole world as the self-loving tin foil hat wearing insignificant fool that he is.

      That makes little sense, he is effectively in jail at the moment locked up in small space.

      Also requesting that anyone "needs" to sacrifice themself to make a point and that Julian "believes he is too good for this" is frankly insane.

      And for tin foil hat comment, do some research. The hypothetical he puts forward is perfectly rational and by all accounts (from the us and sweedens treaty) is quite likely happen.

      Also a parallel can be drawn with Snowden, who is a US citizen by all rights should be a hero and the US sure doesnt treat him like that. What chance does a non US citizen have?

      You are mistaken if you think whistle blowers went to jail willingly. Assange is not a self loving tin foil hat wearing fool. The iraq war logs disprove that, The TPP charters disprove that, The many diplomatic cables disprove that.

      What about uncovering US war crimes has got you so butthurt?

    Let me ask you this, if Assange left the Embassy, faced the music and was sent to Jail in Sweden or the US, would those leaks have still happened? The answer is Yes, because Julian Assange is NOT Wiki leaks, he is a small cog in a large machine and only weakens his own position and that of his groups credibility by continuing this entire circus. If he truly wants to make the world a better place then surely walking out and proving his theory and exposing the US for what he claims them to be would be far more beneficial.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now