The UK and the US keep defying the United Nations and denying freedom of Press

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Julian Assange has been subject to arbitrary detention by the government of the UK and Sweden, as it has been formally determined by the UN working group on arbitrary detention (UNWGAD). 

The determination came after a sixteen months investigation during which the UK and Sweden took part by making submissions to the Working Group in their defense. The UN is an international body whose previous determinations have been welcomed by the United States, the European Union, and most democracies in the world. The opinions of UNWGAD are based on binding international human rights law and its authority has been given by the UN Human Rights Council. The opinions of UNWGAD are considered authoritative by the European Courts of Human Rights. 

UNWGAD has ruled on many other cases, in particular in favour of Aung San Suu Ky, President of the National League for Democracy and recipient of the  Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, illegally forced under house arrest by the Burmese government. 

UNWGAD is composed by members coming from Norway, Australia, Mexico, South Korea, Ukraine and Benin.

Julian Assange has won several journalistic prizes, but, despite the value of its activity that has earned him the nomination to the Nobel prize, he has also seen his freedom unjustly restricted for several years, and he has recently been charged with espionage by the US in retaliation for publishing material that proved wrongdoing by the US.

We urge the governments of the UK and the US to abide by UNWGAD determination, to stop persecuting Julian Assange, to respect the international body's decision and stop undermining the UN body. In a letter signed by many Nobel Peace Prizes there is already concern that many countries, such as Sri Lanka, are using the UK and Sweden defiance towards the UN decision to justify non-compliance with UNWGAD determinations compromising  investigations of war crimes.

Therefore, we respectfully request UK Prime Minister Theresa May and the US President Donald Trump to signal the intention of their countries to respect the UN, to grant freedom of movement to Julian Assange, to stop prosecuting him for his journalistic work, and to award him compensation for his arbitrary detention as determined by UNWGAD.

 


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