WikiLeaks’ Assange should go free from embassy and be compensated: U.N. panel
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be allowed to go free from the Ecuadorian embassy in London and be awarded compensation for what amounts to a three-and-a-half-year arbitrary detention, a U.N. panel ruled on Friday.
Assange, a computer hacker who enraged the United States by publishing hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables, has been holed up in the embassy since June 2012 to avoid a rape investigation in Sweden.
Both Britain and Sweden denied that Assange was being deprived of freedom, noting he had entered the embassy voluntarily. Britain said it could contest the decision and that Assange would be arrested if he left the embassy.
Assange, an Australian, appealed to the U.N. panel, whose decision is not binding, saying he was a political refugee whose rights had been infringed by being unable to take up asylum in Ecuador.