Inside is the text of the public statement issued by the UN expert panel on Arbitrary Detention, which you will not find in most mainstream publications, which are seeking to obfuscate the UN opinion and its importance, with their own opinions. Julian Assange is a Victorian-born Australian citizen and asylum-seeker, recognised as a refugee by the UN. The Ecuadorian Embassy in London granted him refugee status, but the UK government stopped him from going to Ecuador by taking his passport and surrounding the embassy with police, day and night. What did Assange do? Assange famously published, on his Wikileaks, authentic film of US soldiers hunting down civilians with helicopters and machine guns as if they were in a video game. (Film: 'Collateral Damge' inside this article.) The US was so furious at this (and other very relevant exposures of its criminal secrets) that it mounted an international persecution of Assange. The mass media helped the criminal US by defaming Assange and they are still doing it because their owners support war and propaganda. Assange has been openly threatened with assassination by at least two US politicians. It is clear that in the biased US justice system, he does not stand a chance. To their great shame, successive Australian Governments have done nothing to help Assange. To my knowledge, only Senator Scott Ludlam in South Australia has criticised this abject failure to defend a great leader in the fight to stop wars by forcing transparency in government. (Please let me know of any other politician who has spoken up.)
GENEVA (5 February 2016) – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained by Sweden and the United Kingdom since his arrest in London on 7 December 2010, as a result of the legal action against him by both Governments, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said today.
In a public statement, the expert panel called on the Swedish and British authorities to end Mr. Assange’s deprivation of liberty, respect his physical integrity and freedom of movement, and afford him the right to compensation (Check the statement: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=17012&LangID=E)
Mr. Assange, detained first in prison then under house arrest, took refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy in 2012 after losing his appeal to the UK’s Supreme Court against extradition to Sweden, where a judicial investigation was initiated against him in connection with allegations of sexual misconduct. However, he was not formally charged.
“The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention considers that the various forms of deprivation of liberty to which Julian Assange has been subjected constitute a form of arbitrary detention,” said Seong-Phil Hong, who currently heads the expert panel.
“The Working Group maintains that the arbitrary detention of Mr. Assange should be brought to an end, that his physical integrity and freedom of movement be respected, and that he should be entitled to an enforceable right to compensation,” Mr. Hong added.
In its official Opinion, the Working Group considered that Mr. Assange had been subjected to different forms of deprivation of liberty: initial detention in Wandsworth Prison in London, followed by house arrest and then confinement at the Ecuadorean Embassy.
The experts also found that the detention was arbitrary because Mr. Assange was held in isolation at Wandsworth Prison, and because a lack of diligence by the Swedish Prosecutor’s Office in its investigations resulted in his lengthy loss of liberty.
The Working Group established that this detention violates Articles 9 and 10 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and Articles 7, 9(1), 9(3), 9(4), 10 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Check the Working Group’s Opinion on Julian Assange’s case (No. 54/2015), adopted in December: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Detention/A.HRC.WGAD.2015.docx
NOTE TO EDITORS:
The Opinions of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention are legally-binding to the extent that they are based on binding international human rights law, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The WGAD has a mandate to investigate allegations of individuals being deprived of their liberty in an arbitrary way or inconsistently with international human rights standards, and to recommend remedies such as release from detention and compensation, when appropriate.
The binding nature of its opinions derives from the collaboration by States in the procedure, the adversarial nature of is findings and also by the authority given to the WGAD by the UN Human Rights Council. The Opinions of the WGAD are also considered as authoritative by prominent international and regional judicial institutions, including the European Court of Human Rights.
Mr. Seong-Phil Hong (Republic of Korea) is the Chairman-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. Other members of the Working Group are Ms. Leigh Toomey (Australia); Mr. José Antonio Guevara Bermúdez (Mexico); Mr. Roland Adjovi Sètondji (Benin) and Mr. Vladimir Tochilovsky (Ukraine). Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Detention/Pages/WGADIndex.aspx
The UN Working Groups are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.
The Universal Declaration on Human Rights: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Library/Pages/UDHR.aspx
The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: