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U.N. Panel Concludes Julian Assange Is Being ‘Arbitrarily Held And He Should Be Freed

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THEME:   NATION, WORLD

By Dan Bart | February 5, 2016 5:29 pm

Julian Assange Wiki, Leaks founder  feels vindicated by U.N. panel ruling he’s being ‘arbitrarily detained, but his arrest warrant still active in UK

Assange feels vindicated by U.N. panel ruling he's being 'arbitrarily detained, but his arrest warrant still active in UK

Assange feels vindicated by U.N. panel ruling he’s being ‘arbitrarily detained, but his arrest warrant still active in UK

A specialist body based in Geneva, the UN working group on arbitrary detention (UNWGAD) has published its long-awaited report on complaints by Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, that he is effectively being detained illegally in the Ecuadorian embassy in Knightsbridge. Assange is wanted for questioning in Sweden for alleged sex offences; he has not been charged.

It’s been three years since WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange took refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange declared victory Friday, expressing vindication over a U.N. panel’s judgment that the Swedish and UK governments have “arbitrarily detained” him since 2010.

Assange is wanted in Sweden on rape allegations, and the UK arrested him in 2010. . Stockholm police questioned him that August and told him about the charges, which he dismissed as part of a smear campaign. Four months later, he turned himself into police in London.He has said he’s afraid that if he leaves the embassy, he could end up being extradited and facing the death penalty in the United States over allegations of revealing government secrets through his site, WikiLeaks.

Three allegations of sexual assault in Sweden were dropped against Mr Assange last year when they reached their five-year statute of limitations.

However, Swedish prosecutors still want to question him over a 2010 rape allegation.

“I have been detained now without charge in this country, the United Kingdom, for five and a half years. Today, that detention without charge has been found by the highest organization in the United Nations to be unlawful,” said Julian Assange to Renee Montagne, National Public Radio

Kirsty Brimelow QC, of Doughty Street Chambers, an expert in international law tribunals, said: “A finding by UNWGAD against the UK is not binding. It has no enforcement power. However, a finding that the UK has acted in a way which is inconsistent with relevant international standards should not be ignored by the UK. The UK should not act contrary to international law.”

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