back to article Leak – UN says Assange detention 'unlawful'

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) has found in favour of Julian AssangeTM in a complaint alleging he is suffering "arbitrary detention", a report claimed. The BBC has claimed that the UN panel has found in favour of the WikiLeaks founder, although the official word will not be published until Friday. Assange …

  1. Chad H.

    The only person detaining Julian Assange is Julian Assange.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The UN appears to disagree...

      1. LucreLout Silver badge

        The UN appears to disagree...

        The UN was setup with very lofty ideals and ambitions. Sadly it has descended into farce and now is nothing more than an expensive talking shop rammed to the rafters with tinpot dictators.

        1. Chris Miller

          The UNHCR disagrees. A "Human Rights Commission" currently being chaired by Saudi Arabia. It's beyond parody.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            well, I'm sure they DO know VERY WELL about human rights in Saudi Arabia, given their continuous record...

          2. Archie Woodnuts

            Is that the same Saudi Arabia that the UK helped put in the position of chair via a bit of argy-bargy behind closed doors? That the one?

            1. billse10

              "is that the same Saudi Arabia ....."

              ssshhhh .. you weren't supposed to notice ....

          3. Scorchio!!

            "The UNHCR disagrees. A "Human Rights Commission" currently being chaired by Saudi Arabia. It's beyond parody."

            Perhaps the Saudi government could suggest an appropriate way to deal with Julie. Perhaps those who live by the sword.....

          4. jimlenoodle

            And who ensured they got to chair it?:

            http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/sep/29/uk-and-saudi-arabia-in-secret-deal-over-human-rights-council-place

          5. billse10

            "A "Human Rights Commission" currently being chaired by Saudi Arabia. It's beyond parody."

            Let's be nice and not pick on Saudi Arabia too much; after all, it also includes noted bastions of freedom such as Qatar, Russia, UAE and Kyrgyzstan ......

          6. bexley

            Regarding the current chair of the UNHCR

            THe UNHCR is currently chaired by a Danish bloke with a Canadian Vice Chairperson and an Ethiopian women.

            http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49e450976.html

        2. Lars Silver badge
          Joke

          The problem with the UN is that it doesn't always agree with (insert any country* here) then again if we could agree we would not need a UN.

          * most likely a super power or a previous one or some facist regime.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "most likely a super power or a previous one or some facist regime"

            I'll see your super power / previous one / fascist regime and raise you Putin two ouf of three .....

            1. Lars Silver badge

              Yes, but why do you cross out Putin or mention him, Russia has indeed a strong "post super power" syndrome.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Devil

          tinpot dictators... like Cameron?

        4. Archie1954

          Right and the biggest of those tinpot dictators is the US!

      2. SundogUK

        The UN is full of shit.

      3. Scorchio!!

        "The UN appears to disagree...

        Reality frequently fails to bother them.

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      We make our own prisons

      I can't help but feel being holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy treats Assange with the indignity he deserves.

      The fact that he is a fugitive from justice in Sweden, one of Europe's more liberal jurisdictions scrubs any remaining sympathy I might have for him.

      1. Ali Um Bongo
        Pirate

        Re: We make our own prisons

        *"...The fact that he is a fugitive from justice in Sweden, one of Europe's more liberal jurisdictions..."*

        I suspect Mr. Assange would be quite happy to submit himself to Sweden's liberal justice system itself.

        It was the likelihood of being subsequently extradited from Sweden to a; kidnapping, torturing, detaining-without-trial, human-rights-abusing, war-mongering, civilian-slaughtering, police state, on the other side of the Atlantic, that he was concerned about.

        1. Titus Technophobe

          Re: We make our own prisons

          I have done some further reading on this one. There is other news suggesting that Assange has applied to the "UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention" on the basis that the UK authorities have refused to grant Assange "safe passage" to a hospital for the scan on an injured shoulder.

          I can sort of see that just maybe the UN folks might decide that this was a bit unfair ... and I can also see how the UK folks might decide that they shouldn't grant a known fugitive any sort of "safe passage".

        2. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: We make our own prisons

          I suspect Mr. Assange would be quite happy to submit himself to Sweden's liberal justice system itself.

          It was the likelihood of being subsequently extradited from Sweden to a....

          Not this old rubbish again, surely?

          The UK has a far less restrictive extradition process for sending people to America than Sweden has. He'd be demonstrably safer there than here: just ask the NatWest Three. Usually, if they ask, you go; The only exception I can think of in an ever growing list is Gary McKinnon.

          Hiding in the embassy serves one purpose and one purpose only: To avoid trial for rape and contempt of court. It's nothing to do with America.

        3. Not That Andrew

          Re: We make our own prisons

          I'd believe youexcept Britain also has an extradition treaty with the US and has shown itself even more willing to do thir US master's bidding

        4. Scorchio!!

          Re: We make our own prisons

          "It was the likelihood of being subsequently extradited from Sweden to a; kidnapping, torturing, detaining-without-trial, human-rights-abusing, war-mongering, civilian-slaughtering, police state, on the other side of the Atlantic, that he was concerned about.

          The EAW permits extradition only to the country requesting it, they only may deal with him, and cannot send him to the US; if they had not requested an EAW then the UK would have been in the position, had the US requested extradition, where they would be duty bound under Blair's bend-over-for-the-US treaty to release Assange to the tender ministrations of a Bubba in the US.

          Accordingly your comments do not meet with reality.

        5. Scorchio!!

          Re: We make our own prisons

          "It was the likelihood of being subsequently extradited from Sweden to a; kidnapping, torturing, detaining-without-trial, human-rights-abusing, war-mongering, civilian-slaughtering, police state, on the other side of the Atlantic, that he was concerned about.

          This is the lie he suckers people with. Sweden cannot under EU law allow Assange to go to the US under any pretext whilst detained under the EAW. The UK, however, could have done so before the EAW was issued; their agreement with the USA, with which Julie is very familiar, means the UK bends over when the US roars, and hands over the suspect almost without question. You may thank Blair for this obscenity.

          There is great irony in the fact that Russia, where Snowden is hiding out, has slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Chechen people, and some 60+ of its own journalists, has murdered Russian and British citizens overseas, and imprisons people who disagree with the kleptocrat, Putin. Perhaps this escapes you and others who would freely leak defence secrets into Russian, Chinese and terrorist hands.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: We make our own prisons

            "The UK, however, could have done so before the EAW was issued; their agreement with the USA, with which Julie is very familiar, means the UK bends over when the US roars, and hands over the suspect almost without question."

            If he was so concerned with being sent to the US you have to wonder why he came here.

      2. sisk Silver badge

        Re: We make our own prisons

        The fact that he is a fugitive from justice in Sweden, one of Europe's more liberal jurisdictions scrubs any remaining sympathy I might have for him.

        As I understand it he's a fugitive for having sex with a consenting adult who later changed her mind. Which counts as rape in Sweden.

        1. Titus Technophobe

          Re: We make our own prisons

          He is a fugitive in the UK for "Failing to attend court on time as required". This cannot really be disputed as apart from anything else the people who payed his bail lost their money. This is a criminal offence for which the maximum sentence in a magistrates' court is three months' imprisonment, or twelve months in the Crown Court.

          In respect of the allegations from the women in Sweden there is a fairly concise legal summary at:

          http://www.newstatesman.com/david-allen-green/2012/08/legal-myths-about-assange-extradition

          a summary of which is that either rightly or wrongly what Assange did would be rape in the UK as well. Personally I think this is rightly, but then I unlike you do not consider Assange a saint, and do consider that women should have some legal rights.

        2. a cynic writes...

          Re: We make our own prisons

          As I understand it he's a fugitive for having sex with a consenting adult who later changed her mind. Which counts as rape in Sweden.

          er...no. He's a fugitive for going to bed with someone who said she'd only have sex with him if he wore a condom, waiting until she was asleep and then carrying on without one. Sounds a bit rapey...

          In one of his many appeals he didn't argue it didn't happen just that it didn't count. The High Court didn't agree:

          http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20131202164909/http://judiciary.gov.uk/media/judgments/2011/assange-judgment-0211201

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Here is some better informed comment..

            The site Head of Legal has a pretty good summary of the details and of the weird interpretation that Assange seems to have given to existing events.

            If there is one thing I must give Assange is that he is a bullshitter of a class I have not even seen US politicians and NSA management aspire to. If he wasn't such a walking one man disaster zone to boot he could have been of interest to, say, Google - oh, hang on, they were the ones who ratted him out. Duh.

            Anyway, glad to hear that this farce will soon be over. I don't care which specific set of prison bars he ends up behind, but it cannot happen soon enough.

        3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

          @sisk Re: We make our own prisons

          Kinda sorta... its a bit more than that.

          Two women.

          Going from memory because this happened ~7 years ago...

          Assange engaged in consensual sex. In at least one of the cases, the woman agreed to have sex with him if he wore a condom. Later that night, while in bed, he engaged in sex without a condom. Which wasn't consensual there for rape.

          There's more to this... there were actually 3 counts where two of the counts are off the table because Assange out lasted their statute of limitations. So he's down to one count.

          The women reportedly wanted to make sure he got tested. And it got worse from there.

          The biggest irony... had he not done a runner, this wouldn't have been a big issue and he would have been done with it YEARS ago. Now he's wanted for jumping bail and for the stuff in Sweden.

          UN or not... he's not leaving the embassy any time soon.

      3. Nigel 11

        Re: We make our own prisons

        I still do not understand why Sweden hasn't come out and guaranteed (governmentally, to Ecuador) that Assange will not be extradited anywhere outside Sweden and -- if cleared or after punishment served in Sweden -- would be free to travel from Sweden to Ecuador. At that point the Ecuadorian Embassy could ask him to leave, the UK police could send him to Sweden, Swedish law could take its course, and a huge amount of fuss and expense would have been saved. If he was scared that the UK might send him to the USA rather than Sweden, then a similar guarantee could be issued by our government that he would not be extradited anywhere except to Sweden.

        In the meantime he has a little of my sympathy. I don't think that the USA should be allowed to lock him up and throw away the key, which is probably what the US government would do if they ever get their hands on him. His actions don't make a lot of sense if all he has to worry about is jail in Sweden. That's probably little more unpleasant than confinement in a small embassy in London.

        1. StephenD

          Re: We make our own prisons

          Because the Swedish government has no power to offer such a guarantee to Ecuador or anyone else. An extradition request (should one be forthcoming, and should JA reach Sweden) would be dealt with by the independent legal system on its merits - the law (rightly) makes no provision for the Executive to meddle in individual cases.

          1. albaleo

            Re: We make our own prisons

            "Because the Swedish government has no power to offer such a guarantee to Ecuador or anyone else. An extradition request (should one be forthcoming, and should JA reach Sweden) would be dealt with by the independent legal system on its merits - the law (rightly) makes no provision for the Executive to meddle in individual cases."

            Are you sure about that? In the case of the UK, extradition request from the USA need to be approved by the Secretary of State. So presumably a guarantee not to entertain such a request can be provided. If Sweden is different, then that is perhaps their own problem. I'm no fan of Assange, but surely it's in everyone's interest that you can't be extradited to one country only to be arbitrarily extradited to a third.

          2. Adam 52 Silver badge

            Re: We make our own prisons

            That statement is sadly completely incorrect, see http://www.government.se/government-of-sweden/ministry-of-justice/international-judicial-co-operation/questions-and-answers-about-extradition-from-sweden/

            "Who takes decisions on extradition from Sweden?

            The Government takes decisions on extradition from Sweden."

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Meh

            Re: We make our own prisons

            thats a surprise, our Gov seems to have no problems meddling with the law

        2. Scorchio!!

          Re: We make our own prisons

          "I still do not understand why Sweden hasn't come out and guaranteed (governmentally, to Ecuador) that Assange will not be extradited anywhere outside Sweden"

          No government anywhere would make such a commitment in respect of anyone. Treaties are the devices in which general commitments are made, but never for particular individuals.

        3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Boffin

          @ Nigel Re: We make our own prisons

          You can't guarantee that he won't be extradited when no extradition request has been submitted.

          And no, he will not be free to travel from Sweden to Ecuador while he's still wanted in the UK for jumping bail and he's traveling on an Aussie passport.

          Now he'll go to Sweden, face the music. Whatever happens, happens. After that, back to the UK for jumping bail. Again, whatever happens, happens. After that...

          Because he's traveling on an Aussie passport, he will be put on a plane and sent back to Australia.

          Now... here's where the fun will begin.

          The Aussie government could decide to revoke his passport. Which means he can't leave Australia unless he gets an Ecuadorian passport. And after his current stint as a 'house guest' who would never leave, they may or may not want to do it.

          Second, if he's been found guilty of a crime in Sweden, countries could bar him from entering their countries. (e.g. certain celebrities are banned from countries due to their drug arrests...) So his future travel would be restricted.

          Third, if the US wants him, they could extradite him from Australia and it would be a much easier thing to do than from any other country in the world. (Assange has only himself to thank for that quirk.)

          To your post... The US hasn't said that they want him for anything. There hasn't been any formal charges or extradition requests made.

          And when has anything Assange done make any sense? Raping women?

      4. apinochet

        Re: We make our own prisons

        "The fact that he is a fugitive from justice in Sweden, one of Europe's more liberal jurisdictions scrubs any remaining sympathy I might have for him."

        Yeah, right. The same "liberal" Swedish legal jurisdiction that has a record of participating in illegal CIA renditions, torture and in the operation of black sites:

        https://www.hrw.org/news/2006/11/09/sweden-violated-torture-ban-cia-rendition

        One suspects that most people who've attempted to whitewash the Swedish legal system here are irritated and offended by Assange's exposes of US and British state crimes and, for these perverse political reasons, would be quite delighted to see Assange vanish into one of Sweden's legal black holes.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We make our own prisons

        Come on man, do you really believe the trumped up pedo charges they just happen to come up with after he fled the U.S.?

        That's so No Such Agency, it's straight out of a movie.

        The important thing to remember here is, even though we were integral in the creation of the U.N. as a means to enforce our Will on the rest of the world, the U.S. gives ZERO fucks about what the U.N. says or tries to "regulate" about our business.

        He seems like a smart chap though, so I hope he realizes that if the Fed gets it's hands on Mr. Assange that he will most likely have a massive heart attack a very short time later.

        I hope he remains safe, wherever he is.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: We make our own prisons

          "trumped up pedo charges"

          I wasn't aware that there were any charges, trumped up or not, about feet.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We make our own prisons

        "The fact that he is a fugitive from justice in Sweden, one of Europe's more liberal jurisdictions scrubs any remaining sympathy I might have for him."

        As a Swede, I wouldn't put that much stock in Sweden's supposedly liberal justice system. I think you confuse the weirdly lenient sentencing of violent criminals with a generally fair and thoroughly transparent justice system. The latter Sweden does not have.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He's quite rightly paranoid about rendition to the US. Secret flights have happened.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        He's quite rightly paranoid about rendition to the US. Secret flights have happened.

        If they were secret you wouldn't know about them...

        1. DropBear Silver badge
          WTF?

          "If they were secret you wouldn't know about them..."

          Oh, goody! By that logic, everything Snowden uncovered must have been public domain, so he's free to return home...

      2. Fatman Silver badge
        Joke

        RE: He's quite rightly paranoid about rendition to the US.

        <quote>Secret flights have happened.</quote>

        THIS is what he fears most:

        He gets on what is supposed to be a chartered flight to Sweeden, and suddenly hears this cockpit announcement:

        "Good morning ladies and gentlemen and thank you for flying ConAir.

        Today's flight's destination is to one of the more remote spots on the planet - a CIA run blacksite.

        Buckle up, you are in for a ride FOR your life."

        And I would NOT put it past some ladder climbing member of the intelligence community to have the brass balls to attempt it, and give the gubmint plausible deniability.

    4. Archie1954

      Julian Assange is smart enough to know that the US is a dirty player and will cook up some reason to rendition him to the US to be made short work of by its corrupt and politicized "judicial" system. He has never been charged, do you understand, never been charged? Having never been charged he has been in arbitrary detention for over 5 years. That is not justice at work, that is the vengeance of a despicable so called superpower on its way to perdition!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    A completely meaningless ruling

    Firstly - the UN WGAD has not authority or juristriction over the UK, or indeed any other country. All they can do is to winge and moan.

    Secondly - they have a strange definition of what constitues "detention". Assange (TM) is free to walk out the door of the embassy at any time that he likes - how many prisoners can say that?

    Oh, I get it - the fact that the UK courts want to chat with him about little issues such as jumping bail and contempt of court and that Assange (TM) is too afraid to face the music is just too unfair on him.

    1. Desidero

      Re: A completely meaningless ruling

      The fact that Eric Snowden releases exposed the far reach of the NSA, such as spying on Merkel for years or smuggling weapons from Benghazi to Syria, gives us pretty clear understanding that Assange wasn't just paranoid. The treatment of Bradley/Courtney Manning, including debasing 24 hour strip confinement & punitive "suicide" watch only strengthens the argument.

      A setup over an exploding condom should have been enough Monty Python for Islanders to appreciate. Sadly you blokes seem to trust government much more than you did in the 70's punk era - guess that's how you ended up carrying Bush's luggage on the way into Iraq. Pretty flat learning curve here.

      Assange reasonably assumed these bastards were out to get him, setting him up with groupies and bogus charges, which of course is classic takedown - could have set him up with kiddie porn or if Russian put radioactive tabs in his coffee - makes little difference - discredited is defanged, and the US didn't want any more videos of soldiers killing civilians - My Lai & Abu Ghraib got way too much TV time. But at this point, Assange is as forgotten as Michael "Dude, where's my country" Moore - score another 1 for the military complex.

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: A completely meaningless ruling

        Sorry, but I think the charges against Assange are rather more than A setup over an exploding condom

        I have a healthy distrust of Government but a firm respect for the rule of law.

        1. Desidero

          Re: A completely meaningless ruling

          That's why they set him up this way - they get lots of support from the "law and order" crowd cursing the bloody anarchist hippies. Helps to have reflexive allies, no? In the US they just talk about building a wall and fret about police being able to do their job post-Ferguson, and supportive fans pop out of the woodwork.

          1. MyffyW Silver badge

            Re: A completely meaningless ruling

            The charges are based on the question of whether his partner consented to the activity.

            Full stop.

            1. BoldMan

              Re: A completely meaningless ruling

              No the charges are whether he jumped bail in the UK and sought refuge in a foreign Embassy. Whatever Sweden wants him for is beside the point now - he broke UK laws, so he should be a man and face up to it and not whine and mewl like a pussy.

        2. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: A completely meaningless ruling

          I have a healthy distrust of Government but a firm respect for the rule of law.

          I have a healthy and well earned distrust of both Government and the law, but a firm respect for a woman's rights over her own body.

          No means no, yes with caveats means yes with caveats, and do whatever the hell you want apparently does not mean buy a motorcycle.

        3. apinochet

          Re: A completely meaningless ruling

          "I have a healthy distrust of Government but a firm respect for the rule of law."

          The law was made for one thing alone, for the exploitation of those who don't understand it.

          BERTOLT BRECHT, The Threepenny Opera

          Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.

          JONATHAN SWIFT, A Critical Essay upon the Faculties of the Mind

      2. Brangdon

        Re: A completely meaningless ruling

        Manning is a US citizen who broke US laws. Assange did neither. He's a journalist. The US are no more likely to go after him than they are the Guardian journalists who published the Snowdon leaks. Evidence of this is that he was under house arrest in the UK for months before he went into the embassy, and the US never applied for extradition then (and still haven't years later). Extradition from the UK is easier than from Sweden.

        He's accused of having sex with a woman while she was unconscious, knowing she would not have consented had she been awake. That's rape in the UK and Sweden. It's a serious charge, not Monty Python. That his supporters attempt to make a joke of it just shows how morally bankrupt they are.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Manning is a US citizen who broke US laws. Assange did neither.

          I suppose many people bombed in Syria by US drones did / are neither too (or either ;) and yet, they get bombed out from their beds, regardless. And sure, once in the cross-hairs of the good old US of A, they can protest as much as Assange could, if paraded in front of a US court.

          And please, don't say that the US are above "getting him", the lengths they went to, to get "their" Snowden who was trying to sneak out of Russia went far, far beyond the "reasonable". It was about a big bully being publicly humiliated, in front of a world audience, and then demonstrating that you can't get just away with it. Same applies to Assange (whom I have very little sympathy with, by the way).

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Manning is a US citizen who broke US laws. Assange did neither.

            I suppose many people bombed in Syria by US drones did / are neither too (or either ;) and yet, they get bombed out from their beds, regardless.

            Boy oh boy, you really have to reach far, don't you? The only real danger for Assange is that the rape charges are confirmed and the background for them becomes public, because at that point the show is over. No more press, no friends, and a cellmate calling him "my bitch" because they apparently really like blondes in prison.

            The US government have been unusually smart here: they realised that they should just leave him to dig his own hole, and he has done so brilliantly. Thus, the US has clean hands in the whole affair. Clever.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A completely meaningless ruling

          The USofA thinks he did break US Laws. Remember that US Laws apply to the whole frigging planet.

          They want to bury him in Gitmo as an example (or where Gitmo Mk 2 is located) for the rest of his life and beyond. As thay can't get their hands on Snowden who is in Moscow, JA will have to do.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            The USA does not give a shit about him

            None.

            If they did, they'd have asked the UK to extradite him during the months of trial and appeals.

            He is suspected of rape, and has skipped bail in the UK.

            He is a suspect on the run. No more, no less.

            Furthermore, if this really is their judgement then that part of the UN has lost all credibility.

          2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

            @AC Re: A completely meaningless ruling

            Wow. Forget your meds?

            Look, here it is in a nutshell.

            Assange has a historical problem about keeping it in his pants. He has a child out of wedlock as well as admitting in an interview that he likes the ladies. There's more to it, and he would be too easy of a target for a honeypot.

            But the US doesn't do Honeypots. And there would be nothing to gain. No blackmail leverage. So he wasn't set up. It would have been far easier to pick him up back in the UK or Australia before this whole Swedish thing blew up in his face.

            Not to mention the reason why Assange was in Sweden in the first place. Sweden has a lot of protection of their journalists which would have given him more protection from an extradition request. Only he blew that chance.

            The US doesn't want him. No extradition request, nothing. The entire thing is a fantasy he made up.

            If the US did want him... they would have a much easier time nailing him in Australia. So in short, the Swedish thing is all on Assange.

        3. Lars Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: A completely meaningless ruling

          "had she been awake". It took those two girls about a week to wake up, and I still wonder if perhaps it took them that week to learn that he was a "celebrity".

          Coat with condoms.

        4. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
          Boffin

          @Brangdon Re: A completely meaningless ruling

          First, Julian isn't a Journalist, even by the loosest definition of the term.

          To your point, the '71 SCOTUS decision which protected the press when they released the Ellsberg papers on how the US was lying about the Viet Nam War to the US public, Assange would have grounds to fight those charges. Hence no extradition from the US.

          As to Manning and Assange, there is something there. Assange, while failing to honor a promise to help fund Manning's defense, he hired his own attorney to monitor the case. During the Article 32 hearing, some evidence came to light. During the actual trial, Manning plead guilty to the charges so that evidence never made it to court.

          If said evidence is true, (An article 32 hearing is like a Grand Jury where the evidence is taken at face value to be true) then Assange has a right to be scared of being extradited to the US. However, that is separate from Sweden and the UK. The US has plenty of time to go after him, if the next POTUS so desires. Again that's another reason why Assange went to the Embassy. To wait out the clock.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A completely meaningless ruling

          Brangdon - Actually, as an NSA analyst he signed a non-disclosure form or he would not have had access to the level of documents he did. Therefore, in the eyes of the U.S. government he is guilty of treason and probably even high treason, which in case you haven't paid attention since the Great War, we tend to kill people guilty of. Granted, in this case it would never see a court. He would be deemed mentally unstable and put on suicide watch, rather unsuccessfully.

          The Swedish crap was just so he couldn't hide there or really anywhere else with expedition treaties with the U.S. or E.U. (kind of limits him to hiding out in shit holes like Ecuador or Russia).

          Anyone who thinks he can just go do his Swedish time and then be ok, is sadly disillusion. I'm pretty sure he knows what is going to happen to him eventually, when the media stops looking.

          Can't have guilt-ridden Federal employees talking publicly about the insidious things they have to do every day can we? John Q Public might start to believe them after a few dozen or so came out about it. That would not do at all, better to make an example of him and teach the rest of the little maggots not to question B.B.

        6. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A completely meaningless ruling

          Manning is a US citizen who broke US laws. Assange did neither. He's a journalist

          That's not entirely correct. The Manning case suggests they could have gone after him for inciting crime - but they didn't (and AFAIK it's also not enough to warrant extradition). I guess he's just not as important to the US as his overblown ego suggests.

          I also strenuously object to calling Assange a journalist, that's an insult to a honourable profession.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Go

            Re: A completely meaningless ruling

            Journalists honourable, shirley you jest

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: A completely meaningless ruling

              Journalists honourable, shirley you jest

              I happen to know enough of them to render that statement at least true in my personal experience.

              I would agree with you insofar that it is indeed a dying breed because there is less and less money available for good investigative journalism which quite simply costs time and money (read: less immediate profit). Plenty of newspapers and especially e-zines are switching to advertorials which pretend to go deep on something but which are in fact camouflaged marketing - also because that's the only way advertising still works after ad people started taking the piss and we all blocked ads as a consequence.

      3. sisk Silver badge

        Re: A completely meaningless ruling

        Assange reasonably assumed these bastards were out to get him, setting him up with groupies and bogus charges, which of course is classic takedown

        I doubt they'd do anything so overt. The conspiracy theorists would have a heyday.

      4. Turtle

        @ Desidero Re: A completely meaningless ruling

        "The fact that Eric Snowden releases exposed the far reach of the NSA, such as spying on Merkel for years or smuggling weapons from Benghazi to Syria, gives us pretty clear understanding that Assange wasn't just paranoid. The treatment of Bradley/Courtney Manning, including debasing 24 hour strip confinement & punitive "suicide" watch only strengthens the argument.

        A setup over an exploding condom should have been enough Monty Python for Islanders to appreciate. Sadly you blokes seem to trust government much more than you did in the 70's punk era - guess that's how you ended up carrying Bush's luggage on the way into Iraq. Pretty flat learning curve here.

        Assange reasonably assumed these bastards were out to get him, setting him up with groupies and bogus charges, which of course is classic takedown - could have set him up with kiddie porn or if Russian put radioactive tabs in his coffee - makes little difference - discredited is defanged, and the US didn't want any more videos of soldiers killing civilians - My Lai & Abu Ghraib got way too much TV time. But at this point, Assange is as forgotten as Michael "Dude, where's my country" Moore - score another 1 for the military complex."

        You're also an anti-vaxxer, 9-11 Truther, and chemtrails investigator too, right?

        1. Desidero

          Re: @ Desidero A completely meaningless ruling

          No idea what chemtrails is. Don't much trust pharmaceutical companies nor Dick Cheney. Do you? But in any case, I hope you're not a My Lai and Abu Ghraib denier - those are historically documented events. Nice try at deflection though - you earn the twat-of-the-day award.

      5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: A completely meaningless ruling

        "Eric Snowden"

        Who's he?

    2. sisk Silver badge

      Re: A completely meaningless ruling

      Firstly - the UN WGAD has not authority or juristriction over the UK, or indeed any other country. All they can do is to winge and moan.

      True, but they have international respect....for some reason.

    3. Tempest
      Thumb Down

      Firstly - the UN WGAD has not authority or jurisdiction over the UK. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG

      Oh, is that what you think?

      The United Kingdom was a founding member of the UN, and sits on the Council and agreed, by treaty, to honour various matters determined by the UN. This means the UK has agreed to comply to allow certain matters over-rule certain UK decisions.

      But your argument fails because the UK used UN resolutions to invade Iraq and various other things.

      Reminds me of cake and eating it.

  3. Bc1609

    No legal force

    It's worth noting that the UN report has absolutely no legal force whatsoever. From the perspective of the UK justice system, it's about as meaningful as a public statement to the same effect issued by the celebrities currently supporting Assange. It certainly doesn't relieve the UK of its duty to fulfil the terms of the European Arrest Warrant against Assange, and neither does it absolve him of skipping bail.

    Oh, and the report is quite obviously bollocks. To quote the gov. spokesbod: "We have been consistently clear that Mr Assange has never been arbitrarily detained by the UK but is, in fact, voluntarily avoiding lawful arrest by choosing to remain in the Ecuadorean embassy," he added.

    1. Desidero

      Re: No legal force

      What did that spokesbod say about spying on Merkel, intercepting as many EU phonecalls as passed through Blighty, or Hussein's 45 minutes over winterland capabilities? Or was that "spokespod"?

      Anyway, must be a truly serious matter they're chasing Julian for, one that millions of males would be guilty of - overeager careless attitudes towards sex with a stranger, including gasp with alcohol, maybe even spleef. The 60's & 70's have officially left the building. Hell, even the rave years are distant memories now.

      1. BoldMan

        Re: No legal force

        Irrelevant. He broke the law in the UK when he jumped bail. Simples.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No legal force

        I've put a few of your nonsense posts together, saves time.

        The fact that Eric Snowden releases exposed the far reach of the NSA, such as spying on Merkel for years or smuggling weapons from Benghazi to Syria, gives us pretty clear understanding that Assange wasn't just paranoid. The treatment of Bradley/Courtney Manning, including debasing 24 hour strip confinement & punitive "suicide" watch only strengthens the argument.

        OK, so the fact that Snowden talks about the NSA automatically means that every idiot with conspiracy theories is right? God help you if you ever come across a concept called "logic" because your head will explode. Far reach of the NSA: irrelevant. Spying, smuggling and even the treatment of Manning has zero bearing on Assange's situation because that was self imposed. He could have remained and faced the music, with the amount of press attention at the time (which, I would like to remind you, was positive, not like it is now) the US would have never managed to get him shipped without a lot of noise. By the way, thanks for mentioning Manning - is that the same person that Assange promised contributions to legal defence funds for if he/she/it provided information?

        Oh, sorry, that was an *Assange* promise. That's about as much value as his agreement to safe sex.

        What did that spokesbod say about spying on Merkel, intercepting as many EU phonecalls as passed through Blighty, or Hussein's 45 minutes over winterland capabilities? Or was that "spokespod"?

        Again, where does that in any way hit the Assange case? You know they have strong winters in the US right now too, I presume that's also a conspiracy to keep any other news off air? I mean, if you're spouting totally irrelevant bollocks there is a lot more you can talk about.

        Whatever you're smoking, I recommend you change brand.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No legal force

        Ah yes - the 60s and 70s - when women earned 60% what a man earned, when rocks stars openly cavorted with underage groupies, when racial segregation existed in the US, when "no blacks" signs were commonplace in London - those are the days you are reminiscing about?

        Are you honestly saying that you think it is okay to have unprotected sex with a woman against her will?

      4. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Boffin

        @Desidero Re: No legal force

        So, essentially you're condoning rape?

        First, had you investigated the EAW, there are 32 charges where you don't have to show a duopoly of the crime. That is to say that if Sweden says its a crime and submits an EAW, you don't have to check to see if it would be a crime in the UK. Rape is one of those 32 charges.

        Second, during the EAW appeals, the UK government gave Assange the benefit of the doubt and reviewed the charges to see if they would be considered rape under UK laws. Guess what happened. They found that he would have been charged in the UK for rape. He lost all three of the appeals and then decided to do his runner to the Embassy.

        Third, Sweden is pretty open when it comes to sex. The issue is that unlike the Middle East and most Muslim countries, women are first class citizens and have the same rights as males. Its when you force a woman to have non consensual sex, its called rape and you have to face the charges.

        The boy is facing allegations he committed rape. Had he stayed and not used his lawyer to help him leave Sweden, this would all be a footnote on Manning's wikipedia entry.

        1. Desidero

          Re: @Desidero No legal force

          Stop using the bullshit rape word. He didn't rip her clothes off, he didn't violently take her, it's 1) a question about whether he continued after a condom broke and 2) whether he entered one girl again after she fell asleep. Both are he said-she said stories that the girls reported after everything seemed ok the next day until the 2 girls traded stories. There's nothing that a court or prosecutor could dig out of this bullshit case, but fortunately thousands of hours of expert musing at The Reg will rectify this moral dilemma. Meanwhile dozens die every day in Iraq, but we've solve the enigma of the half-used condom and the sleepy encounter. A beer for all - twaddle on home.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Desidero No legal force

            @Desidero - attitudes like yours illustrate why women are still underrepresented in IT.

            You are confusing the crime with the difficulty in proving it.

            Clearly having unprotected sex with a sleeping woman who does not want it is rape - despite the lack of any clothes tearing. Whether this is what happened in Assange's case we do not know (and as you say may be difficult to prove).

            The reasons there are thousands of hours of musings here is because Assange has sought to avoid the mechanism where a definitive conclusion can be reached.

            1. Desidero

              Re: @Desidero No legal force

              Clearly the chance of 2 confirmed groupies comparing notes and getting jealous and reporting stuff done with only 2 people alone leads to arbitrary assignation of guilt and a real opportunity for legal abuse.

              There is no fucking mechanism whereby we can tell whether he intentionally or not kept going after a condom may or may not have come off - they were alone, and having just had consensual sex, no semen tests or vaginal bruising or any typical rape metrics can be used. It's pure he said/she said, and if she's pissed at him *OR* if she's a CIA/NSA plant, there's plenty of motive to file a frivolous baseless charge. Him being a well-known public figure only ups the ante.

              So leave the faux feminism in the cloakroom with all the other cheap furs.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Desidero No legal force

            Stop using the bullshit rape word

            I think we can safely consider that a valid charge when it survives three subsequent rounds in UK court. I know that doesn't quite fit in the heor model you seem to have built up for yourself, but facts are facts: this is the charge levelled at Assange. Whether he is guilty of it is a secondary step, but "rape" is the actual charge, I'm sure you can find the official statement with a bit of digging.

            The only bullshit in this affair has come from Assange.

        2. Allonymous Coward

          Re: @Desidero No legal force

          Had he stayed and not used his lawyer to help him leave Sweden, this would all be a footnote on Manning's wikipedia entry

          And Julian would hate just being a footnote in someone else's Wikipedia entry.

      5. Desidero

        Re: No legal force

        Wow, what a disapproving bunch - thought all the Bowie retrospectives would have at least got people waxing nostalgic for the age of free love and its mate, irresponsible sex, and alternate meanings of of "Red Head". What happened to Anarchy in the UK or the Blockheads? all in a nursing home I s'pose.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No legal force

          Anarchy in the UK was a song by a manufactured boy band, created to publicise a designer clothes shop. The 1 Direction of their day.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: No legal force

      That is definitely the case, but you are missing the point. You are trying to make a reasonable argument against propaganda (the UN agency is just the mouthpiece for one).

      That does not work.

      Propaganda always wins - like in Syria - all those 2M refugees are running from Asad and nobody is running from the wonderful vision of society envisioned by Erdogan marionettes or Al Nusra front. Nobody is running from ISIS either. It is just Assad, Hezbollah and the Russians everyone is runnning from and if they just stop doing what they are doing the country will return to its rosy normal state and wake up in a rosy propaganda glow.

      In any case, on the visual part of propaganda - El Reg, shame on you for the unfinished photoshop. AssAnge (TM) has 6 fingers, not 5. The pic got the cat right, the face right, the suit right, but failed to edit the number of fingers to the correct value.

  4. BasicChimpTheory

    This article makes me want to listen to Hannibal Buress' "Gibberish Rap".

    Just sayin'.

  5. Otto is a bear.

    It all depends

    A UN commission is due to say Assange has been arbitrarily detained. Interesting, because he hasn't been detained by anybody other than himself as yet. I wonder who the UN commission was made up of, if it comes to that conclusion, and what kind of precedent it would set, if adhered too. I'm not sure a UN commission is best placed to comment on an allegation of rape.

    If the allegations against Assange are with foundation, then his detention is hardly arbitrary, and he needs to answer them. If the US want him that badly, they they could just as easily get him in the UK.

    One should also remember that the plaintiffs in this case would need to be security service stooges, which I doubt, very much, and the incidence of women making up rape allegations is very, very low. We should also remember just how many public figures have used their position to flaunt the law.

    Is Assange worth it, if the allegation is true, even if the US also want him, should he be allowed to get away with a serious criminal offence.

    1. Chris Miller

      Re: It all depends

      UNHCR Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

      Members of the Working Group:

      Mr. Seong-Phil Hong - Republic of Korea, since 2014 (Chair-Rapporteur)

      Mr. José Guevara - (Mexico), since 2014 (First Vice-Chair)

      Mr. Sètondji Adjovi - (Benin), since 2014 (Second Vice-Chair)

      Ms. Leigh Toomey - (Australia), since 2015

      Mr. Vladimir Tochilovsky - (Ukraine), since 2010

      Only in the UN would a 5-person committee require 3 chairs!

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: It all depends

        Only in the UN would a 5-person committee require 3 chairs!

        That shows a dedictation to saving money unusual at the UN. 5 committee members, only 3 chairs, so do two of them have to stand up? Or do they lean on the edge of the table, like Channel 5 news presenters?

        Or perhaps they start each meeting by playing some motivational music, then marching round the table to warm up, and when the music stops...

        1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

          @Spartacus Re: It all depends

          You do realize that two of the 'chairs' are alternates in case one of the first 3 chairs are not available to cast a vote.

          But I have to wonder how do you get to be 'first chair'? Some sort of musical competition?

      2. Turtle

        @Chris Miller Re: It all depends

        "Only in the UN would a 5-person committee require 3 chairs!"

        It shows how little importance the members of the committee are expected to attach to their work.

        Apparently they think it is very possible if not actually likely that the Chairman and 1st Vice Chairman will have better things to do than come to the meetings on a regular, but that maybe with three people - 60% of the five committee members - with the authority to chair their meetings, they have a better chance at having at least one authorized chairman at every meeting.

        (Nota bene: This is not meant to be humorous explanation.)

    2. Chris King Silver badge

      Re: It all depends

      "If the US want him that badly, they they could just as easily get him in the UK."

      If the Yanks REALLY wanted him, he'd be gone already and we'd be saying "Julian who ? Oh, him".

      1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

        @ Chris King Re: It all depends

        If the US really wants him, they'll be patient.

        Julian is like a cockroach. When he's in the dark most people wouldn't know or care if he's there.

        So Julian shines a light on Julian as a way to protect himself from his delusions.

        Julian will end up in Australia before he could go anywhere.

        He'll go to Sweden, back to the UK and then on to Australia.

        Note that in some cases, when someone gets bounced from the UK, they can go anywhere else. But Julian, for being such a prat, will be sent back to his home country. Where, according to ABC news, the government at one time was contemplating removing his passport.

        Also remember that when Julian was a teen, he got busted for hacking a US Defense computer.

        That just made the extradition request easier.

        Julian doing a runner in Sweden and in the UK? That made it even easier. No bail while he fights a hypothetical US extradition.

        And that's also important. In the US, he's old news. Hillary and Bill Clinton are now the target of a fed investigation. (Along with Hillary's senior staff) So again, nobody really wants Assange. Not even his current hosts.

  6. Graham Jordan

    justice4assange.com

    Wouldn't justice include being taken to Sweden and questioned for rape?

    I appreciate he fears being extradited to the US, but this right here isn't about that. Why not prove your innocence, then haul yourself up in a Russian embassy in Sweden if you spot any blacked out SUV's following you around. Kinda feels like maybe the US thing is an excuse and he put his willy where it wasn't wanted.

  7. Meng

    Surprise!

    Oh I'm sure Saint Julian would have gone quietly to the nick if the ruling had been against him. He said so. And he couldn't have known what it would be, could he, how noble of him to submit to a neutral authority. It's astounding to me how people actually STILL support this narcissistic misogynistic tosspot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surprise!

      It's astounding to me how people actually STILL support this narcissistic misogynistic tosspot.

      Please don't insult narcissistic misogynistic tosspots by comparing them with Assange.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps next we can have a referendum on leaving the UN.

  9. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Cue Tom Jones....

    So.... the Equadorian Embassy should release him?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cue Tom Jones....

      Cue Tom Jones: you're thinking of this one, aren't you? :)

    2. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      Re: Cue Tom Jones....

      Now why am I thinking about the movie "Mars Attacks!"

  10. Patrician

    Wikileaks publish secret documents and, suddenly, there are people crawling out the woodwork making claims against Julian Assange that they've never mentioned before? Nothing suspicious there is there?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      These "claims against Julian Assange that they've never mentioned before" were reported to the police a day or two after the events allegedly happened. The reason they were "never mentioned before" was because they hadn't happened yet.

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        "because they hadn't happened yet."

        Now isn't that convenient...

  11. graeme leggett

    the WGAD

    What the WGAD does is issue "deliberations" (their word) on general matters - eg house arrest, restrictions of freedom etc that make detention count as arbitrary.

    With respect to individual complainants, it investigates asking both sides for their version of the story. At the conclusion of the investigation, and this is their words, "If the Group decides that the arbitrary nature of the deprivation of liberty is established, it shall render an opinion to that effect and make recommendations to the Government."

    (http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Detention/Pages/Complaints.aspx)

    That's all it can do - give an opinion and suggest the government it blames does something.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Popcorn at the ready, what is going to happen?

    Arrest, Extradition to Sweden, Jail time.

    Arrest, Extradition to Sweden, Extradition to USA.

    Arrest, Extradition to USA

    Arrest, Extradition to Sweden, Freedom.

    Arrest, Extradition to Sweden, Freedom, Radioactive poisoning blamed on Russia.

    Arrest, Extradition to Sweden, Freedom, Unfortunate car accident.

    Arrest, Extradition to Sweden, Freedom, Drone strike.

    Arrest, Extradition to Sweden, Extradition to USA, shot by someone on a grassy knoll.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      You forgot one:

      Arrest, Jail time.(for UK Bail breach) Extradition to Sweden... etc

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        I believe the arrest warrant has priority.

        So the order is:

        Arrest. Sweden for questioning. Imprisoned for rape, aquitted, or charges dropped.

        EU Arrest Warrant issued by the UK. Arrest. Extradition to the UK. Trial, imprisoned for skipping bail and contempt of court.

        If he was genuinely afraid of being extradited to the USA, then he's a ****ing idiot because almost every action he's taken since leaving Sweden has made it easier for them to do so - if they cared.

    2. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      > Popcorn at the ready, what is going to happen?

      If you'd numbered these it would have been easier to vote!

      But actually none of these. Assange, IMHO, has already left it too late. It's inevitable that the EU arrest warrant will be served, so he will eventually end up in Sweden. The only question is whether the US will then try to extradite or not. Under Obama there's a reasonable chance of 'not'. Under Trump[1] that becomes a 'hell yeah'.

      [1] Other Republicans available.

  13. SolidSquid

    I'm curious what the details are on this if it's true. Seeing this is a ruling which should be based on international law, it should detail what aspects of his staying in the embassy are a violation, and also likely depends heavily on how the question to them was framed

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      I can only imagine that they'll base it on a right to justice without undue delay. And they'll argue that Sweden should have interviewed him at the Ecuadorian embassy. They only seem to have made serious efforts towards doing that last year, as the statute of limitations on the less serious charges was coming up. Also after being somewhat told off by a Swedish judge for not getting on with things, but it didn't happen. Apparently Assange and Ecuador were making conditions, or possibly just Ecuador - so I guess the ruling will be on whether these conditions were reasonable.

      I still don't buy it myself. I don't see why Assange has any right to special treatment. Sweden has a perfectly sensible process to make justice happen in a timely manner, which is to go through the normal process. Assange deliberately circumvented that, so I don't see why he shouldn't have to suffer the consequences of his own actions. He was happy enough to live in Sweden before allegations, so I don't buy some crappy excuse about how Sweden would hand him over to the nasty US suddently, but there'd been no risk of this the day before. And then to come to the UK didn't exactly show much fear of the US, given we have the worst extradition treaty with them imagineable.

      I guess we find out tomorrow. Or it'll be one of those mixed judgements that says we should have done more to help the case along, and ignores his role in fucking the whole process up. Rights should come with responsibilities. And his is to man-up, and turn up for his police interview and possible trial.

  14. ratfox Silver badge

    I'm not clear on what the decision of the UN panel was taken? Considering that nobody is forcing him to stay there… Having breached his bail, it seems pretty normal that he would be arrested if caught, without even mentioning the Sweden thing.

    One way or another, I doubt the UK cares about that UN ruling…

    1. Chris King Silver badge

      One way or another, I doubt the UK cares about that UN ruling…

      Anyone else reminded of the Hans Blix scene from "Team America World Police" ?

      "...Or else we will be very, very angry with you, and we will write you a letter telling you how angry we are."

      (Oooh, Swedish subtitles too. That wasn't intentional, honest)

  15. Franco Silver badge

    I don't see how the UK could act any differently. Assange chose to seek asylum rather than be arrested. The UK is legally required to arrest and extradite him if they can, unless Sweden decide to drop the case.

  16. 2460 Something

    Whether he actually committed the offences or whether it was all just an American conspiracy to have him shunted over the pond are completely immaterial to this particular element.

    He broke the law by not abiding to his bail conditions and the UK is fully within it's rights to completely disregard his latest PR stunt. What exactly was he hoping to achieve from this? That the UK would suddenly apologise for abiding by the law in attempting to re-arrest him?

    1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      > What exactly was he hoping to achieve from this?

      The only conclusion I've been able to come to on that one is - his name in the news again.

      If the report says it was unlawful, it makes no difference as it has no legal sway whatsoever. Assange's supporters no doubt will be all over the net saying "the UN has ruled Assange's treatment illegal" I'm sure, but other than that very little real difference.

      If the report had come back and said it was 100% lawful, does anyone believe he'd actually have walked out of that embassy and accepted arrest?

      It's essentially a publicity stunt and nothing more

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I get why he's scared about being extradited to Sweden, I would be too in his shoes. I bet the US are itching to get their hands on him. I don't, however, understand how any court could claim he is being detained by the UK or Sweden. We didn't force him to enter the embassy and he's free to walk out at any time. None of that sounds like any sort of detention to me. The fact he doesn't want to leave because he has an open and seeming valid warrant for his arrest hanging over him isn't the UK's fault it's his.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      But given that the UK-USA treaty basically guarantees that the UK will hand over anybody on request, if the USA wanted him then surely they would put the request in to the UK, not to Sweeden?

      1. Franco Silver badge

        "But given that the UK-USA treaty basically guarantees that the UK will hand over anybody on request, if the USA wanted him then surely they would put the request in to the UK, not to Sweden?"

        I'm not a lawyer, but I would assume any request that came in from the USA would be superseded by the existing request to extradite him to Sweden and the European Arrest Warrant.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I think this has been covered on these forums before; as an Australian citizen the UK-USA extradition agreement can't be applied to him, so it's actually practically impossible for the USA to get him from blighty (extraordinary rendition remains an option, of course). Sweden has no such protection. That being said, any attempt by the USA to try and get him from Sweden would kind of validate what he's been saying all along, and would be a pretty bad PR move on their part. However I doubt that would be of any comfort to Assange at that point.

        Personally I welcome the UN decision that his current confinement is arbitrary. Hopefully they will tell the Ecuadorean government to release Assange straight away so that he can go about his much-delayed business with the UK and Swedish legal systems.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "But given that the UK-USA treaty basically guarantees that the UK will hand over anybody on request"

        a) Sweden has a European arrest warrant out for him. They have precedence.

        b) He was here for several months without any request from the US.

        He only did a runner when he was getting close to the end of the legal proceedings to extradite him to Sweden.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Simples, Judicial precedent from long long ago, that's what I'm talking about.

      For an Aussie, becoming a real-life POM (aka Prisoner of Mother England) may rankle just a bit. Does the UN have a say? Apparently so.

      One thing's for sure, as soon as he steps out of the embassy he will be arrested, pronto. Arbitrary maybe? Unusual? Definitely. Depending on the offense, solvent bail jumpers tend to get picked up when they renew their drivers licenses or something, otherwise they are ignored. The US is a little more medieval because of the money lent to poorer bail convicts (who have to borrow 10 %). I suspect the UK is similar. I don't think Julian's backers have sent out the bailiffs however, thus making the whole thing slightly farcial.

      And yes, it would have made a brilliant Monty Python sketch.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Simples, Judicial precedent from long long ago, that's what I'm talking about.

        "Depending on the offense, solvent bail jumpers tend to get picked up when they renew their drivers licenses or something, otherwise they are ignored."

        For what it's worth, bail breach offences are generally treated lightly (mostly it's a telling off by the courts and "don't do it again") and only habitual offenders actually get time in the cells to think about it (not very often even then).

        If Asshat was to get treated "differently" on account of his celebrity/notoriety/cheeking a judge, then there would be ample grounds for any lawyer to challenge it and possibly get the judge recused for bias.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scoop?

    > So UK used BBC to 'scoop' UN, JA.

    Really? News organisations reports news. Or not: IT'S A MAJOR CONSPIRACY THEY'RE ALL IN ON IT!!1111one!!!

    But then I would say that. I'm obviously a CIA/MI5 shill.

  19. Bota

    He's totally free to leave

    Straight into the loving arms of the UK armed officers waiting for him. Probably to hold him under "terrorism" charges like they did David Miranda, Glen Greenwalds' partner when he was transiting through the UK, you remember him? The guy who helped that Edward fellow with his leaks. Just like Julian, with his leaks. If you think he wouldn't be on a plane within the hour to face "justice" (see torture / and or political assassination) in the United "we don't torture" States then I have some magick beans to sell you.

    <sarcasm>

    I mean the UK isn't just going to bend over for the US are they?

    </sarcasm>

    Scenario A - He did actually do something wrong with that chick

    Scenario B - he didn't

    Either way it's obvious that he doesn't want to end up like Manning, so he chose exile like Snowden, like Poitras, like many other people deemed "interesting" by the elites (see Dolphin Square for a sense of their morality).

  20. BurnT'offering

    It would be funny if

    Swede plods interviewed him and said, Mr Assange, we are happy there is no case to answer, you are free to go.

  21. Lamont Cranston

    "UK already has verdict but not JA, public. So UK used BBC to 'scoop' UN, JA"

    Is that Wikileaks getting upset about people leaking information to the press?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "UK already has verdict but not JA, public. So UK used BBC to 'scoop' UN, JA"

      wikileaks have a history of leaking how upset they are about people leaking their leaks. They should move towards copyright leaks and leaking, I suppose.

  22. Velv Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    If the UN say he's being held, then give him the opportunity to leave the embassy and go to Equador.

    Then issue an international arrest warrant and request extradition.

    If the US decide they want him, I'm sure Equador will capitulate quicker than either the UK or Sweden given the investments the US is making and th attempts to establish stronger links. I'd also bet it would be easier to get him out of Equador by force than from the UK or Sweden.

    Yup, I hear black helicopters...

  23. Barbarian At the Gates

    See here, Bolivian Embassy!

    We, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Working Groups, declare that the Bolivian Embassy, in confining Julian Assange to a single couch within a rather small set of rooms to be "arbitrary detention". Keeping him there is "unlawful". We rather forgot about your existence for a number of years, Julian, much to your chagrin. I do hope you will recover from this blow to your ego.

    We forthwith declare: Mr. Assange, you are...still...free to go *

    * directly to jail in Britain for skipping terms of bail. Do not pass "GO" and do not collect $200. Really, that's on you, old boy.

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: See here, Bolivian Embassy!

      And when, pray, did Bolivia get involved?

      You may well have triggered Bolivian diplomats into running around their premises to try to find where Assange is hiding. Stop everyone; it was a typo. (I assume!)

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Things More Interesting than Julian Assange

    Brass rubbing

    Postbox spotting

    Traffic cone collecting

    Watching grass grow

    Watching paint dry

    Feel free to add the list, its infinitely long....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Things More Interesting than Julian Assange

      Complaining about Assange articles

      Commenting on said articles

      Using clichés...

    2. Allonymous Coward
      IT Angle

      Re: Things More Interesting than Julian Assange

      Discussing Unicode support in PHP

      Icon because, there is one.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    philosophical thoughts

    If a tree falls down in a forest, and there's nobody around to hear it, does it make a sound

    If something happens, and it involves Julian Assange(TM), does anybody care?

    1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: philosophical thoughts

      Apparently, more than enough to wibble for two pages about it.

      Meanwhile, the leaks that so upset the americans are forgotten.

      It's a pity the millions spent on posting a guard outside the door of the embassy (which was the choice of the authorities, just as it was Assange's choice to stay inside) wasn't spent on any other alleged rapists. Or even catching the perpetrators of the murders depicted in those films.

      I'm not saying Assange shouldn't be tried. Just that it's not such a big issue as the one Wikileaks reported, and shouldn't be permitted to eclipse it.

  26. s. pam
    Alien

    I could sooooo care less about what's his name!

    Talk about using all avenues and protesting too much!

    Why didn't he just man-up, meet with the team accusing him on safe ground, and save everyone a helluva lotta bother?

    I hope this is the end of this noisemaker but I doubt it is!

    1. Ali Um Bongo
      Thumb Up

      Re: I could sooooo care less about what's his name!

      I'm sure he will be glad that you care a certain amount. Just to be clearer about the extent of caring involved, could you quantify exactly *how much* less could you care?

  27. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    "How the BBC received its information is unclear,"

    Read it on Wikileaks of course.

  28. Kevin 6

    God seriously the US don't care about him cause if the US wanted him out of the picture he would be gone, and possibly the whole embassy from a freak "accident" from natural gas igniting, or something. Or hell they would just snipe him lets face it the US hasn't given a damn about pissing countries off in the past, and wouldn't now to get what they want.

    All we have here is a guy trying to wait out the statue of limitations on all his rape charges so he can get off scot-free. That or he is completely insane, and requires a trip to a mental health hospital.

    People bringing Manning, and even Snowden up are pushing it. Manning broke military law, and gave out classified documents. Snowden stole confidential documents. I've seen US papers publish documents Snowden leaked, and none of them have been shut down, or imprisoned which is exactly what Asshat did.

    1. Kevin 6

      Did want to add this, but my edit time passed by 1 minute...

      Now I don't agree with how Manning was treated as Manning seemed to have some severe psychiatric problems, and should have been kicked out of the military years prior based on what I read(and how correct it was). Even Snowden in all honesty I don't think he should be treated with the disdain as he was do to how the news painted him.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Admin?

    Could an Admin please remove all the twaddle with IP addresses matching Langley please? I smell some stooge posts in here (nobody can be as stupid as some of the posts I'm seeing).

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Admin?

      Julian, is that you?

  30. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Joke

    ADHD

    This self-inflicted incarceration is causing serious health effects

    A̶t̶t̶e̶n̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶D̶e̶f̶i̶c̶i̶t̶ ̶H̶y̶p̶e̶r̶a̶c̶t̶i̶v̶i̶t̶y̶ ̶D̶i̶s̶o̶r̶d̶e̶r̶ Arbitrary Detention Hypoactivity Disorder

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not a ruling. Not a decision. Not a judgement.

    This is not a ruling. Not a decision. Not a judgement. Not "by the UN" not "by the UNHCR". This was not the result of a courtroom battle.

    It's the majority opinion by a panel of 5 lawyers looking at written submissions. One of the five declined to take part as she was Australian and did not want to be considered to be biased. Another said the whole thing was ludicrous because Assange is clearly not being detained so they should not even consider the case. The other 3 decided the words "arbitrarily detained" could be melded to fit Assange's situation.

    So. The result is that "lawyers have opinions on letter of law". Big news?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Groundhog Day

    1. Assange sitting in self-imposed incarceration.

    2. Assange puts out a press release in case people have forgotten about him.

    3. Party (with no authority) supports him.

    4. Parties (with authority) dismiss Party (with no authority) and restate their legal position.

    5. Return to 1

    Doomed to relive the same day until you do the right thing.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    1 - UK law only applies on UK soil.

    2 - The UK can only detain someone using UK law, so they have to be on UK soil.

    3 - Mr Assange is on Ecuadorian soil as long as he stays in the embassy, so the UK can't be detaining him.

    Seeking refuge in a foreign embassy with no extradition treaty because you and your legal team failed in court to prevent your extradition to a country that wants you to stand trial for an alleged crime is not detention by the UK.

    Voluntarily remaining in said embassy in order to evade arrest under a European Arrest Warrant and subsequent extradition to Sweden is also not detention by the UK

    The UK did not issue the arrest warrant Sweden did, the UK is bound to enforce the warrant under EU Law

    You'd think A UN Working Group, which has no legal authority and can only offer an opinion and not a legally binding judgement, would know this

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did the UN also say that...

    rape and disclosure of stolen confidential papers was illegal? Did the UN say harboring a fugitive was illegal? If not then they missed the point completely

  35. sisk Silver badge

    You know, thinking about it I don't think he has any legal worries from the US as long as he doesn't come here. He was not in the US when he disclosed his information, nor is he a US citizen. The US has no legal grounds for extradition....no LEGAL grounds. I'm fairly certain we'd all know what happened if he vanished without a trace though.

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