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Julian Assange should be compensated by Britain and Sweden says the UN

The panel published its report into Assange’s three year stay at the Ecuadorian embassy this morning.

A demonstrator holds a banner outside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.
A demonstrator holds a banner outside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

A UN PANEL has found that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been “arbitrarily detained” at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

The panel published its report into Assange’s three year stay at the embassy this morning.

The WikiLeaks founder, who is wanted for extradition on a rape accusation in Sweden and has lived in the embassy since June 2012, said he would walk out and face authorities if the panel had found against him.

“WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained by Sweden and the United Kingdom since his arrest in London on 7 December 2010,” the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention report says.

It adds that Assange should be given the right to claim compensation from both Sweden and Britain, which has said it will arrest him if he leaves the embassy.

The five independent rights experts who make up the panel insisted Assange’s detention “should be brought to an end, that his physical integrity and freedom of movement be respected, and that he should be entitled to an enforceable right to compensation.”

Assange founded Wikileaks in 2006, and its activities including the release of 500,000 secret military files on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and 250,000 diplomatic cables have infuriated the United States.

The main source of the leaks, US Army soldier Chelsea Manning, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for breaches of the Espionage Act.

The British government, however, says it “contests and rejects” the findings.

With AFP reporting

Read: UN panel has ruled that Julian Assange’s detention is illegal, says Sweden

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