Will Julian Assange finally be allowed to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy after the public release of his latest statements stemming from a rape allegation that dates back to 2010? And will the U.K. finally decide to honor the United Nations ruling that Assange has been arbitrarily detained since 2012?
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention spoke at the end of November and said that they had rejected the challenge placed by the U.K. after the U.K. had refused to abide by the United Nations’ previous February 2016 decision, which asserted that Julian Assange was being held at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London against his will.
“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.”
Earlier this year, after his internet connection had been cut off, supporters were left in fear as to what had happened to Julian, begging WikiLeaks to please let the world know that he was okay. Julian seemed to disappear for awhile with no internet access, and there was speculation as to whether he was even still inside of the Ecuadorian Embassy.
It has previously been reported that Assange chooses to remain at the Ecuadorian Embassy purely as a matter of choice. However, the U.K. police have been told to “apprehend” Julian if he steps outside of the embassy. This is all due to a Swedish arrest warrant that dates back to rape allegations from 2010, although no formal charges have actually been filed. Being detained by the U.K. police could then lead to his extradition to the United States, where he could be charged over his work with WikiLeaks and possibly even face the death penalty.
Julian Assange, the 45-year-old founder of WikiLeaks, has always remained adamant that the rape allegations against him are false. Furthermore, he has asked for many years to be allowed to give his statement on the matter. His request to give a statement has been denied since the year 2010, and it is only now that Swedish authorities have finally “officially” questioned him on the matter.
The New York Times reports that Assange has now released a public statement on these rape allegations, in which he explains that he “engaged in consensual and enjoyable sex” with the woman in question. Julian states that when visiting Sweden on business, it was arranged that he would stay at the home of a female individual as she would be out of town at the time. The woman, however, arrived back during Assange’s stay. Julian Assange further says that this woman “made it very clear that she wanted to have sexual intercourse with me.” Text records also show this to be true.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) December 7, 2016
The trouble began several days later when Julian received a phone from the woman he had slept with. She told him that she was at the hospital and wished for him to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases. She then said that she had spoken to a police officer about the matter. But in Sweden, she explained, it is normal to speak to police about such personal matters, as they can then give advice about testing for diseases.
Julian Assange was busy with a hectic work schedule at the time the woman phoned him, but he agreed to meet with her the next day at lunch in order to calm her fears and undergo the tests she was asking him for. As far as he knew everything was fine, and it was the last time he heard from the woman as he got the shock of his life after this.
“You can imagine my disbelief when I woke the next morning to the news that I had been arrested in my absence for ‘rape’ and that the police were ‘hunting’ all over Stockholm for me. I immediately made myself available to Swedish authorities to clarify any questions that might exist, even though I had no obligation to do so.”
During Assange’s recent interview, he further said in a statement that Eva Finne, the chief prosecutor in Stockholm, had originally decided that no crime had been committed and closed her investigation into the matter. It was, however, the decision of another Swedish prosecutor to reopen the matter and to issue an extradition warrant specifically for his arrest. But as Julian had already been cleared, and no charges have ever been filed, Julian Assange has long feared that this Swedish extradition would lead to future extradition to the United States, and for this reason he has been trapped inside of the Ecuadorian Embassy for a crime he says he never committed.
Will the U.K. finally abide by the United Nations ruling and allow Assange to go free? And will Sweden finally drop their case as it can now be shown that Julian Assange has always been innocent of the crime that he has been accused of, as his public statements now prove?
[Featured Image by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images]