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UN Panel Rules WikiLeaks Founder 'Arbitrarily' Detained At Embassy


Julian Assange has not left the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012. (file photo)

Julian Assange has not left the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012. (file photo)

A United Nations panel has reportedly ruled that the confinement at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange amounts to “arbitrary” detention.

Sweden's Foreign Ministry announced the finding by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on February 4, a day before the panel was due to formally publish its report.

Assange, who is wanted for extradition to Sweden on an accusation of sexual assault, has lived at the embassy in London since June 2012.

In 2014, Assange complained to the UN that he was being "arbitrarily detained" because he could not leave the embassy without being arrested.

The British government says it has a legal obligation to extradite Assange to Sweden, and maintains that Assange is voluntarily avoiding a lawful arrest by choosing to remain at the embassy.

It also has said the UN panel's ruling would not be legally binding in the United Kingdom.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, AFP, and BBC
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