Drop the Warrant, Give back his Passport
After the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) found in his favour, the UK government should cancel the arrest warrant on Julian Assange and return his Australian passport, Australian Greens Deputy Leader Senator Scott Ludlam said today.
"After the WGAD announced their decision, the government of Britain immediately rejected it as non-binding, an assertion numerous international law experts have been quick to question. Regardless of this, numerous regimes that I'm sure the UK would compare themselves favourably to have respected the findings of the WGAD and acted accordingly in recent years.
"The WGAD found that Aung San Suu Kyi was arbitrarily detained. She was released by the regime in Myanmar and took a leading role in that nations recent election. Iran followed the finding of the WGAD when they released Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian.
"The Maldives promptly released former President Mohamed Nasheed after the WGAD found he was illegally imprisoned. If the UK government fails to grant Julian Assange his freedom, they will join Egyptian President al-Sisi in disregarding the WGAD's finding," Senator Ludlam said.
"During Julian's time in the embassy, the United Kingdom changed their extradition laws so they can no longer be applied in response to an allegation, there must be a charge. This change was dubbed 'the Assange law' - Julian would not have a warrant on him under the UK law as it currently stands, but the UK refuse to apply it retrospectively.
"It's as simple as this; an Australian citizen has been unable to leave a small office building in London for over three years. It's time for the Foreign Minister to demand that the UK return Mr Assange's passport and allow him to leave the country."