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UN Panel Says Assange Should Be Released 

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has confined himself to the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012.

A United Nations panel of independent experts say Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was being "arbitrarily detained" in the Ecuadorean embassy in London and should be released and compensated.

The finding has been rejected by Britain and Sweden, which wants Assange's extradition on an accusation of sexual assault.

"The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention considers that the various forms of deprivation of liberty to which Julian Assange has been subjected constitute a form of arbitrary detention," Seong-Phil Hong, the head of the UN panel, said in a statement on February 5.

The British Foreign Office said the report "changes nothing" and it will "formally contest the working group's opinion."

Assange has lived at the embassy in London since June 2012.

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.

The UN panel's ruling would not be legally binding in Britain.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP