Tag Archives: Julian Assange

UN calls UK for Assange liberation

First day of new year 2019 the UN office in Geneva, Switzerland, reminds of the United Nations Working group on arbitrary detention (WGAD) reiterated call to the UK that Julian Assange recover his entire freedom. In December 2015, the WGAD had determined the deprivation of liberty of Mr. Assange arbitrary and called for his release.

“GENEVA (21 December 2018) – UN human rights experts today repeated a demand that the UK abides by its international obligations and immediately allows Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to walk free from the Ecuadorian embassy in London where he has been for over 6 years, fearing arrest by British authorities if he leaves, and extradition to the US.

“States that are based upon and promote the rule of law do not like to be confronted with their own violations of the law, that is understandable. But when they honestly admit these violations, they do honour the very spirit of the rule of law, earn enhanced respect for doing so, and set worldwide commendable examples,” the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) said.

In December 2015, the Working Group concluded in its opinion No. 54/2015 that Mr. Assange – who at the time had a European arrest warrant issued against him for an allegation of crimes committed in Sweden ‑ was being arbitrarily deprived of his freedom and demanded that he be released.

“Under international law, pre-trial detention must be only imposed in limited instances. Detention during investigations must be even more limited, especially in the absence of any charge” said the experts. “The Swedish investigations have been closed for over 18 months now, and the only ground remaining for Mr. Assange’s continued deprivation of liberty is a bail violation in the UK, which is, objectively, a minor offense that cannot post facto justify the more than 6 years confinement that he has been subjected to since he sought asylum in the Embassy of Ecuador. Mr. Assange should be able to exercise his right to freedom of movement in an unhindered manner, in accordance with the human rights conventions the UK has ratified,” the experts further said

The WGAD is further concerned that the modalities of the continued arbitrary deprivation of liberty of Mr. Assange is undermining his health, and may possible endanger his life given the disproportionate amount of anxiety and stress that such prolonged deprivation of liberty entails.

“The United Kingdom has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and has a responsibility to honour its commitment, by respecting its provisions in all cases,” the experts said.

“As the High Commissioner for human rights said several years ago, human rights treaty law is binding law, it is not discretionary law. It is not some passing fancy that a state can apply sometimes and not in the other,” the experts recalled.

“In addition, the recommendations of the WGAD Opinions are expected to be implemented by all States, including those which have not been a party in the case concerning Mr. Assange,” said the experts.

“On 10 December, the world celebrated International Human Rights Day. Seventy years ago, on that very day, the United Nations proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the mother of all rights contained in subsequent conventions, including the ICCPR.

“It is time that Mr. Assange, who has already paid a high price for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of opinion, expression and information, and to promote the right to truth in the public interest, recovers his freedom,” the experts concluded.”

This statement by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention is endorsed by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Mr. Michel Forst.

Amnesty against extradition of Assange

Amnesty International supported  voices against extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States, arguing that this would put his human rights at serious risk of abuse.

The statement, issued by the group’s Australian branch, backed Assange’s lawyers and supporters’ claim that if he is sent to the US, “he would face a real risk of serious human rights violations due to his work with WikiLeaks.”

Amnesty said that Assange could face several human rights violations in the event that he is extradited to the US, including: violation of his right to freedom of expression; right to liberty; right to life if the death penalty were sought; and being held in conditions that would violate his right to humane treatment.

Assange faces eviction from Ecuador Embassy

The Intercept earlier cited a source close to the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry and the president’s office as saying that Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno was involved in talks with the UK and was close to finalizing an agreement to hand over the WikiLeaks’ founder to the British government within the next several weeks.

 

The Ecuadorian government has stripped Julian Assange of political asylum and is ready to evict him from the country’s embassy in London where he has been living since 2012.

 

Assange deprived of internet

Ecuador has deprived Julian Assange of internet connection at its embassy in London, preventing him from communicating with the outside world.

The action is taken to avoid the WikiLeaks founder from interfering in other countries’ affairs, Ecuador said.

The decision was triggered by  Mr Assange criticising the expel of Russian diplomats, based on allegations of Moscow being “highly likely” responsible for the poisoning of Russian double agent and his daughter in Salisbury.

n 2016, Ecuador briefly suspended Mr Assange’s internet connection after he published hacked emails from the campaign team of Hillary Clinton, a move seen as having an impact on the US presidential election campaign.

 

Twitter VIP and other political clients

Twitter Inc management confirmed that accounts belonging to world leaders have special status on the microblog network, frustrating users who have called on the company to banish U.S. President Donald Trump.

“Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets would hide important information people should be able to see and debate,” Twitter said in a post on a corporate blog.

Twitter’ management has declared previously that “newsworthiness” and whether a tweet is “of public interest” are among the factors it considers before removing an account or a tweet.

The public concerns about legal framework of powers of social media are at rise, amid closure or a number of prominent political players: the beginning of this year Greek party Golden Dawn, the third group in the parliament discovered their microblog was shut down. In Germany Twitter blocked for 12 hours the account of Beatrix von Storch, the deputy parliamentary leader for the  Alternative for Germany party.

The sequence of events started when Cologne police tweeted a New Year’s greeting in Arabic, along with English and French, von Storch reacted on Twitter: “What the hell is happening in this country? Why is an official police site tweeting in Arabic? Do you think it is to appease the barbaric, gang-raping hordes of Muslim men?”. She clearly referred to the dramatic events in Cologne when hundreds of German women were trapped as victims of sexual assaults by migrants during New Year celebration at central square of town.

However, Beatrix von Storch Twitter microblog was blocked/suspended, the Facebook page with the similar message reacted by deleting her post: “Facebook has now also censored me. This is the end of the rule of law.” – the deputy leader of AfD wrote.

Both Twitter and Facebook as well as YouTube campaigned against the new law called the Network Enforcement Act, which gives social media firms 24 hours to remove content considered sedition, threat, insult or slander. Civil rights groups have raised concern about the damages to free speech.

 

 

 

Assange as 'hacker' can stay in Embassy

Ecuador’s new president Lenin Moreno said Julian Assange is a “hacker,” making his strongest comments to date against the WikiLeaks founder while still stressing he could stay on in the country’s London embassy.

Moreno, who was sworn in earlier this month, has broken with his predecessor and mentor Rafael Correa, who had said Assange was a “journalist” and granted him asylum in London in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over rape allegations.

During the campaign, Moreno had already taken a tougher stance on Assange, warning him “not to intervene in the politics” of countries friendly to Ecuador.

“Mr. Assange is a hacker. That’s something we reject, and I personally reject,” Moreno said to journalists.

“But I respect the situation he is in, which calls for respect of his human rights, but we also ask that he respects the situation he is in.”