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UN panel backs WikiLeaks' Julian Assange, but he may not go free

John Ribeiro | Feb. 10, 2016
The UK government has said the panel decision is not binding on it.

It seems unlikely that Assange will now leave the embassy, unless he has an assurance from the U.K. police that he will not be arrested. "Should I prevail and the state parties be found to have acted unlawfully, I expect the immediate return of my passport and the termination of further attempts to arrest me,” he wrote in his statement on Twitter.

The focus will now most likely shift to demands that the U.K. and Sweden respect and abide by the decision of the U.N. panel. The Human Rights Council of the UN General Assembly passed a resolution in 2013 calling on states to take steps to remedy situations where people are identified by the Working Group as having been arbitrarily deprived of their liberty. Protesters have asked Assange's supporters to gather Friday outside the Ecuador embassy in London.


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