Marking the one year anniversary of the UN announcement that Sweden and the UK were acting unlawfully by depriving Julian Assange of his liberty, the founder of WikiLeaks asks to restore his liberty.
Assange, the publisher and editor of WikiLeaks, said, “I call on UK and Sweden to do the right thing and restore my liberty.
“These two states signed treaties to recognise the UN and its human rights
mechanisms. Their governments accepted the jurisdiction of the UNWGAD in my case – the world’s peak legal body for cases of arbitrary detention.
“At no time in the 16 month process did they withdraw.
“They lost, appealed and lost again. This refusal to respect the umpire’s decision comes at a terrible cost: other states can now illegally detain Swedish and UK citizens with effective impunity and the UN human rights system more broadly is imperiled.
“Already their breach has been used to justify human rights abuses in Sri Lanka and the UAE,” he said.
Assange has been living in the embassy of Ecuador for the last 4.5 years. He will be arrested if he leaves and might be extradited to the US, where the WikiLeaks founder would be either jailed or executed.
With the Ecuadorian General Election fast approaching on the 19th February, and as hopes for Assange retaining his refugee status fades, the current candidates are unlike to renew the status.
Ecuadorian Presidential candidate's first act after Feb 19: terminate Assange asylum https://t.co/we1o0H0x5t
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) February 6, 2017
Ecuador granted him refugee status in 2012. The UK and Sweden are obliged under international law not to extradite individuals with refugee status.
However, they have refused to follow this when it comes to Mr. Assange and the United States.
WikiLeaks previously said that Assange would agree to be extradited if clemency was granted to Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning- who leaked documents to the website.
The US Army private, will walk out of prison on 17 May after former US President Barack Obama revoked her sentence.