06:02 GMT +314 December 2019
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    Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino, left, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speak during a news conference inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

    NGOs Knock Down UK for Refusing to Accept UN's Ruling on Assange Detention

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    NGOs at the United Nations Human Rights Council have hit out at the UK for making "offensive remarks" and setting a "dangerous precedent" by refusing to take the advice from a UN working group which ruled that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was being "arbitrarily detained."

    During a meeting an NGO addressed the President of the United Nations General Assembly and said:

    "Such [an] unprecedented personal attack… undermines not only undermines the dignity of the working group but erodes the credibility of the human rights system as a whole", and will have "global repercussions."

    The official spokesman for UK Prime Minister David Cameron said the ruling was "ridiculous." Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said: "I reject the decision of this working group. It is made up of lay people not lawyers." 

    Ecuador's ambassador in London has also expressed concern over the British government's position on Julian Assange and its rejection of the findings of the UN working group.

    Ambassador Carlos Abad met MP Hugo Swire to discuss Assange, who has been living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, for more than three years.

    "At the meeting with Minister Hugo Swire, I made it clear that Ecuador wishes to resolve the situation of Julian Assange, within a framework of respect for the United Nation's International System of Human Rights," Abad said.

    "I was also able to clarify that Ecuador had not stood in the way of the judicial proceedings requested by the Swedish prosecutor who for her part, has not yet complied with the standard procedures for international co-operation outlines in the recently signed bilateral agreement between Sweden and Ecuador."

    General Counsel of Human Rights Watch, Dinah PoKempner has also called upon the Swedish and British governments to take heed of the groups' ruling and said the issue isn't about Assange evading justice in Sweden over rape and sexual assault allegations — but the risk he will be subsequently extradited to the US and prosecuted under the Espionage Act.

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange denies the rape allegations and has not been charged at any time. Lawyers in Sweden have formally requested a Swedish court to overturn the arrest warrant for Assange, following the findings of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.    

    Topic:
    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange case (74)

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    Tags:
    whistleblower, ruling, ambassador, detention, WikiLeaks, United Nations, Julian Assange, Europe, United Kingdom
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