Join us at TNW Conference 2022 for insights into the future of tech →

The heart of tech

This article was published on March 24, 2016

    UK officials: We never detained WikiLeaks founder

    UK officials: We never detained WikiLeaks founder Image by: AFP/Getty Images
    Kirsty Styles
    Story by

    Kirsty Styles

    Reporter

    Kirsty Styles is a journalist who lives in Hackney. She was previously editor at Tech City News and is now a reporter at The Next Web. She l Kirsty Styles is a journalist who lives in Hackney. She was previously editor at Tech City News and is now a reporter at The Next Web. She loves tech for good, cleantech, edtech, assistive tech, politech (?), diversity in tech.

    It’s 1,934 days since WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange asked for asylum in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London – now the UK has made a formal appeal against a UN judgement last month that found he is being “arbitrarily and unlawfully detained.”

    Officials responded to the “inaccurate” opinion of the UN Working Group, which was established via a 16-month investigation, that he should be released and compensated by saying:

    Julian Assange has never been arbitrarily detained by the UK, and is in fact voluntarily avoiding lawful arrest by choosing to remain in the Ecuadorean Embassy. The UK continues to have a legal obligation to extradite him to Sweden.

    Assange maintains that if he were to go to Sweden to face allegations of sexual offenses, he risks extradition to the United States for his publishing activities with WikiLeaks.

    The UN Working Group’s opinion is not a legal judgement – but its view is taken seriously as a measure of good, or indeed bad, geopolitical behavior – so the UK government is hoping this response will influence the next meeting in April.

    UK submits response to UN Working Group on Assange case [Foreign and Commonwealth Office]