In a stunning win for Wikileaks, London and Stockholm must end the ‘arbitrary detention’ of the organization’s founder Julian Assange after the United Nations rejected an appeal by the U.K. of a previous ruling as “not admissible.”
“Now that all appeals are exhausted I expect that the UK and Sweden will comply with their international obligations and set me free,” Assange said in a statement following the ruling. “It is an obvious and grotesque injustice to detain someone for six years who hasn’t even been charged with an offence.”
In February, the U.N.’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found Assange to be arbitrarily detained in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London due to actions of both Britain and Sweden, and each government should ensure the Wikileaks founder’s human rights. Today, the U.N. wrote in a statement:
“The UN expert group also considered four requests for review of previous opinions, submitted by the Arab Republic of Egypt, the State of Kuwait and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Working Group concluded that the requests did not meet the threshold of a review as enshrined in paragraph 21 of its methods of work, and that they were thus not admissible.”
A press release from Justice for Assange on the ruling states:
“Earlier this year the United Nations concluded the 16 month long case to which the UK was a party. The UK lost, appealed, and today – lost again. The UN instructed the UK and Sweden to take immediate steps to ensure Mr. Assange’s liberty, protection, and enjoyment of fundamental human rights. No steps have been taken, jeopardising Mr. Assange’s life, health and physical integrity, and undermining the UN system of human rights protection.
“Now, the United Nations has found that the United Kingdom’s request for review of this decision (filed on March 24) was inadmissible; the United Kingdom has now reached the end of the road in its attempt to overturn the ruling. As a member of the Security Council and the United Nations Human Rights Council, the United Kingdom must respect its commitment to the United Nations, and release Mr. Assange immediately. Now, more than ever, moral leadership is required; maintaining Mr. Assange’s effective detention (which stands at six years as of 7 December, 2016) will only serve to green light future abuses against defenders of free speech and human rights.”
H/t reader kevin a.
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