Julian Assange agrees to arrest pending UN investigation

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has said he will agree to be arrested by British police this Friday pending the outcome of a UN investigation.

The investigation in question is being conducted by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. Assange approached the UN to assess whether the three years he has spent holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London is unlawful and constitutes arbitrary detention.

Assange argues that he is unable to benefit from the asylum he has been granted by the Ecuadorian government.

Should the UN Working Group rule that the time spent in the embassy does not constitute arbitrary detention Assange has said that he will leave the embassy and accept arrest.

“I shall exit the embassy at noon on Friday,” read a tweet sent out by Assange from the Wikileaks Twitter account, “to accept arrest by the British police as there is no meaningful prospect of further appeal.”

Assange went on to say that if the UN rules in his favour he expects to see his passport returned to him and an end to attempts to arrest him.

The United States and Sweden still want Assange

Two factors have kept Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy. The first is the fact the US want him extradited for the WikiLeaks publishing of United States classified documents.

The second is allegations of rape by women in Sweden. Swedish authorities have insisted that Assange be questioned in person, in Sweden, something the WikiLeaks founder fears will prompt an extradition to the US.

In August 2015  two counts of alleged sexual molestation and one count of unlawful coercion were dropped by Swedish authorities but Assange is still wanted for questioning regarding an allegation of rape.

During October 2015 the London Metropolitan Police Services called off an operation where a police contingent was permanently stationed outside the Ecuadorian embassy.

While there is still an operation to arrest Assange should he leave the embassy, the police presence is not as aggressive as it was, and after tomorrow it may be removed permanently.

[Via – The Guardian] [Image CC by 2.0 – Wikimedia Commons]


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