On This Day — UN Panel : “Julian Assange Is Arbitrarily Detained” (February 5 2016) [2020]

“The UN working group on arbitrary detention has concluded that Mr Assange is arbitrarily detained. The working group’s view differs from that of the Swedish authorities. We will forward a reply to the working group tomorrow. It will be more clear tomorrow why we reject the working group’s conclusions.”

Anna Ekberg — Spokesperson for the Swedish Foreign Ministry

“The process has been going on for 18 months, the UK government has made submissions to the working group so it has accepted its authority. What signal does it send that the UK and Sweden would ignore this UN body? It would completely destroy its authority. Are they willing to set that precedent? Egypt has not accepted its findings with regard to the detention of its former president [Mohammed Morsi] – is that the standard the UK wants to hold?”

WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson

Four years ago on this day (February 5 2016), a UN panel published its findings which concluded that Julian Assange was “arbitrarily detained” by the UK. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today

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UPDATE (February 5 2020) — On 11 April 2019, Assange’s asylum was withdrawn and the police were invited into the Ecuadorian embassy.

He was arrested and found guilty of breaching the Bail Act. On 1 May 2019 he was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison in the United Kingdom.

On the same day, the United States government unsealed an indictment against Assange for alleged computer intrusion, related to the leaks provided by Chelsea Manning. On 23 May 2019, the United States government further charged Assange with violating the Espionage Act of 1917.

Assange is incarcerated in HM Prison Belmarsh, reportedly in ill health.

“Later this month, a journalist will appear at a London court hearing in which he faces being extradited to the United States to spend the rest of his life in prison. The 18 charges against him are the direct result of his having revealed a host of secrets, many of them related to the US prosecution of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They included the “collateral murder” video which showed a US helicopter crew shooting 18 people in Baghdad in 2007, including two Reuters war correspondents, Namir Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh. Among the files were thousands of military dispatches and diplomatic cables that enabled people in scores of countries to perceive the relationships between their governments and the US. They also showed the way in which American diplomats sought to gather personal information about two UN secretary generals.

(…)

I would like to see Britain’s editors – national, regional and local – get to grips with this case in advance of the first hearing, due to start on 24 February, and then to issue a considered statement, probably through the Society of Editors, opposing Assange’s extradition. At the same time, they need to alert their readers and pressure politicians, in order to highlight the injustice of this prosecution and why it is so important. They don’t have to change their minds about the man’s character. They just need to stick to the principle.

I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to see a parallel between the Assange case and the Dreyfus affair in the 1890s, in which a Jewish artillery captain in the French army was falsely convicted of spying. At least Dreyfus was eventually released from Devil’s Island. If the US gets its hands on Assange, there will be precious little hope of escape.

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It is sobering to note that Manning, whose original sentence was commuted, is now in jail because she refuses to testify against Assange. She, too, is a hero of press freedom.”

Press freedom is at risk if we allow Julian Assange’s extradition by Roy Greenslade [Guardian – February 2 2020]

WikiLeaks video: ‘Collateral murder’ in Iraq

WikiLeaks, a website that publishes anonymously sourced documents, has released a video showing what apparently is a US military helicopter firing at unarmed civilians in Iraq.

WikiLeaks said the footage, filmed from a helicopter cockpit, shows a missile strike and shooting on a square in a Baghdad neighbourhood in July 2007.

The website said 12 civilians were killed in the attack, including two journalists, Namir Nour El Deen and Saeed Chmagh, who worked for the Reuters news agency.

This is the full, unedited version of the footage.

 

END of UPDATE

The UN panel found that Julian Assange should be released immediately with compensation.

In November 2016, a United Nations panel maintained that Assange continue to be “arbitrarily detained” in London notwithstanding an appeal brought by the British government.

LIVE – Julian Assange full statement after UN panel ruling

Published on February 5 2016 — After receiving UN backing to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has resided for the past three and a half years, founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, makes a statement calling the U.N. panel’s finding that he has been arbitrarily detained is a “vindication.”

In his speech Assange also accused Britain’s foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, of insulting the United Nations in his response to the panel’s finding.

REFERENCES

Julian Assange is in arbitrary detention, UN panel finds — The Guardian

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On This Day — UN Panel : “Julian Assange Is Arbitrarily Detained” (February 5 2016)

On This Day — UN Panel : “Julian Assange Is Arbitrarily Detained” (February 5 2016)  [2019]

On This Day — UN Panel : “Julian Assange Is Arbitrarily Detained” (February 5 2016) [2020]

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