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UN panel calls for Assange to be freed

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UN panel calls for Assange to be freed
Photo: David G. Silvers
13:50 CET+01:00
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained by both Sweden and Britain, says a Geneva-based UN panel, which called on both countries to release him and pay him compensation.

"WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained by Sweden and the United Kingdom since his arrest in London on December 7th 2010," the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said on Friday.

The five independent rights experts who make up the panel insisted Assange's detention "should be brought to an end, that his physical integrity and freedom of movement be respected, and that he should be entitled to an
enforceable right to compensation."

The group said it considered that Assange has been subjected to different forms of deprivation of liberty.

Initially he was detained in Wandsworth prison, followed by house arrest and his confinement at the Ecuadorian Embassy.

"Having concluded that there was a continuous deprivation of liberty, the Working Group also found that the detention was arbitrary because he was held in isolation during the first stage of detention and because of the lack of diligence by the Swedish Prosecutor in its investigations, which resulted in the lengthy detention of Mr. Assange."

The panel said its opinion was sent to the governments of Sweden and the UK on January 22nd.

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