15:14 GMT +321 September 2019
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    Russian Foreign Ministry

    Russia Calls on Sweden, UK to Heed UN Opinion in Assange Case

    © AFP 2019 / ALEXANDER NEMENOV
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    The Swedish and UK authorities should take into consideration the opinion and recommendations of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on Wikileaks founder Julian Assange lawsuit, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Moscow is hoping that the Swedish and UK authorities will recognize the opinion of a UN legal panel in ongoing investigation of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday.

    The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said earlier on Friday it had concluded that Assange was being arbitrarily detained and should be allowed to walk free. However, the panel's ruling is not legally binding and both London and Stockholm vowed to formally contest it.

    According to the ministry's statement, despite the non-binding nature of the panel ruling, "the Swedish and UK authorities should take into consideration the opinion and recommendations of the Working Group, including the conclusion that Assange's detention should be brought to an end and that he should be afforded the right to compensation as a result of illegal persecution."

    Assange has been residing at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 out of fear of being extradited, first to Sweden where he has been accused of sexual assault, and ultimately to the United States where he could face espionage charges for publishing classified documents through his website.

    Related:

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    Sweden Formally Contests UN Panel Statement on WikiLeaks Assange Detention
    Assange's Lawyer Says Up to Swedish Prosecutors to Reverse Assault Probe
    Assange Gives Press Conference Following UN Decision on His Detention
    Tags:
    United Nations, Russian Foreign Ministry, Julian Assange, United Kingdom, Sweden, Russia
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