UN Rapporteur Urges Ecuador not to Expel Julian Assange from London Embassy

By Bill Toulas / April 6, 2019

There’s a stir in the case of Julian Assange, the Australian computer programmer and founder of WikiLeaks who has found political asylum in the London-based embassy of Ecuador since 2012. According to the following WikiLeaks tweet, the 47-year old is under the risk of getting expelled from the embassy in the following hours or days, using the INAPapers scandal as the pretext. While Sweden has retracted their 2010 international arrest warrant that involved allegations of sexual assault and rape two years ago, UK is still standing ready to arrest Assange on the grounds that he breached his bail and absconded eight years ago. The risk of this arrest for Assange would be to be extradited to the United States, who will judge him for publishing multiple leaks that concerned them (Iraq and Afghanistan wars), since the inception of WikiLeaks.

Recently, Lenin Monero, the president of Ecuador expressed his acrimony against Assange, by stating that he has repeatedly violated the designated political asylum terms. Monero was suspicious of Assange, following the leaking of his personal and family moments on the net, which was the direct result of hacking into private accounts and phones. As he stated a few days ago: “We should ensure Mr. Assange’s life is not at risk but he’s violated the agreement we have with him so many times.”

Back in October 2018, Assange decided to sue Ecuador for violating his fundamental rights, as they have prevented him any internet access or phone calls, as well as refused journalists and human rights organizations to visit him in the London embassy. All of this clearly shows that the tension between Assange and Ecuador has reached a culmination point, so something is bound to imminently happen. A senior Ecuador official says there’s no decision to expel Assange from the embassy, but fears from the reports are still growing and have even reached the UN.

The United Nations special rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, urges Ecuador to abstain from expelling Mr. Assange from its Embassy in London, as his human rights cannot be guaranteed right now. As the UN expert writes: “In my assessment if Mr. Assange were to be expelled from the Embassy of Ecuador, he is likely to be arrested by British authorities and extradited to the United States. Such a response could expose him to a real risk of serious violations of his human rights, including his freedom of expression, his right to a fair trial and the prohibition of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. According to information I have received, Mr. Assange is at risk of extreme vulnerability, and his health is in serious decline. I, therefore, appeal to the Ecuadorian authorities to continue to provide him, to the fullest extent possible in the circumstances, with adequate living conditions and access to appropriate medical care.”

With the situation being characterized by uncertainty right now, advocates of human rights and freedom of speech have once again rushed to show their support, with a van blocking the entrance of the Ecuadorian embassy right now, and a characteristic poster passing a clear message to the public.

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