UN Demands Freedom For WikiLeak’s Assange, Rules ‘Arbitrary Detention’ Must End
The United Nations has rejected UK attempts to overturn their ruling that Julian Assange’s ‘arbitrary detention’ is unlawful and deprives him of fundamental human rights.
After nearly four years of being effectively trapped inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Julian Assange, the Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks, may soon walk free thanks to a United Nations ruling announced today.
The international body had previously decided in February that Assange was being “arbitrarily detained” by the UK and Swedish governments and that he was “entitled to his freedom of movement and to compensation.”
Assange sought asylum at the embassy in June of 2012 as he was facing extradition to Sweden over rape allegations. Assange feared that, if extradited to Sweden, that he would then be extradited to the United States, which has been arming a case against him for years over espionage charges for his work at WikiLeaks.
However, the rape allegations against Assange have been proven to be unfounded as both alleged victims have explicitly denied being raped by Assange and the case remains a “preliminary investigation” despite being over six years old.
Since being granted asylum in Ecuador in 2012, the UK government has spent an enormous amount of money paying for a constant police presence at the embassy’s entrance, in order to arrest Assange and extradite him were he to leave the building.
The practice has cost the UK over £10 million. After the UN’s February decision declaring Assange’s situation unlawful and inhumane, the UK government offered a strongly-worded appeal arguing that Assange’s “human rights have been protected throughout the process and will continue to be protected if and when he is extradited to Sweden.”
However, Assange has been unable to go outside or even to see the sun for over four years and has also been unable to see his children during this entire ordeal.
Because he has received asylum, Assange is permitted by international law to travel to Ecuador per the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees, which was signed by both the UK and Sweden.
However, both of these countries have ignored the treaty in favor of serving their geopolitical alliances with the United States, where the political establishment considers Assange a “terrorist.”
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