July 26, 2021

The UN rapporteur says that Ecuador puts Assange at risk of serious violations

The UN rapporteur says that Ecuador puts Assange at risk of serious violations

The UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Agnes Callamard, said on Thursday that Ecuador's decision to facilitate the arrest of Julian Assange in the United Kingdom puts the founder of WikiLeaks at risk of serious human rights violations.

Callamard, through Twitter, said that British authorities have kept Assange "arbitrarily detained" for 7 years, possibly endangering his life.

According to the expert, the arrest places Assange "one step closer to extradition to the US" and, therefore, "exposes him to the risk of serious violations of human rights."

Callamard, who is an independent expert, also directs the project on global freedom of expression at Columbia University, in New York.

Last Friday, the UN special rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, had already warned of the risks Assange faces of being extradited to the United States.

Melzer, who then issued a statement in the face of rumors of a possible expulsion of Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, had asked Quito not to take that step "until the full protection of their rights can be guaranteed."

Assange was a refugee in the embassy of Ecuador in the British capital since June 2012 to avoid his extradition to Sweden, which then requested his surrender for alleged sex crimes.

In 2010, WikiLeaks released more than 90,000 classified documents related to US military actions in Afghanistan, nearly 400,000 secret documents about the war in Iraq and 250,000 diplomatic cables from the US State Department.

His arrest on Thursday responded to a request for extradition from the United States, as well as to the fact of violating the conditions of probation in 2012, Scotland Yard reported.

The US government accuses Assange of "conspiracy to infiltrate" government systems with the aim of accessing classified information, a charge for which he could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.


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