UK Foreign Secretary Calls Assange ‘Fugitive From Justice’

© AFP 2022 / Stefan WermuthBritain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond
Britain's Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond - Sputnik International
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UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond refuted on Friday a UN panel’s demand to end the arbitrary detention of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, saying he was a fugitive from justice.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) announced earlier in the day that it considered Assange’s detention to be arbitrary and demanded that London and Sweden respect his freedom of movement.

Assange took refuge at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in 2012 after a British court authorized his extradition to Sweden on rape and sexual assault charges. Assault claims were later dropped.

The whistleblower fears that Sweden may hand him over to the United States to be prosecuted for espionage after his website leaked classified US data.

A UK government spokesperson said Friday that Assange was voluntarily avoiding lawful arrest on the outstanding allegation of rape so the United Kingdom will continue to have a legal obligation to extradite him to Sweden.

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