Funeral requestMr. Assange appeals prosecutor’s refusal to permit him to attend Monday funeral on compassionate grounds
Yesterday, October 27, Mr. Assange asked Swedish authorities to permit him to attend the funeral of his close friend and mentor, Prof. Gavin MacFadyen, in London next Monday as is routinely done in other cases. The request was made to the official in charge Marianne Ny, to give permission for him to assist the one hour funeral, accompanied by a police escort before returning to the Embassy of Ecuador.
The Swedish official has rejected the request with a press release.
Mr. Assange is appealing to Sweden’s Attorney General, Anders Perklev.
Mr. Assange said:
"I am heart-broken that this official has rejected my request to attend Gavin’s funeral. Her rejection is consistent with the corrupt and frankly wicked manner in which she has exercised her "discretion" over me, as the UN also ruled earlier this year. I am deeply shocked that this official would use my request for compassion as an opportunity for publicity by issuing a press release boasting of her rejection about this deeply personal matter. This callous official has shown no consideration for my grief or that of Gavin’s family. I have instructed my counsel to appeal the request to Sweden’s Attorney General."
This type of request is routinely granted in other cases on compassionate grounds, even where the person has been charged and/or convicted. Mr. Assange hasn’t even been charged and has previously been formally cleared.
In February this year, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention issued a decison condemning Sweden for the arbitrary and unlawful deprivation of liberty it has kept Mr. Assange in since his arrest and imprisonment on 7 December 2010.
The Swedish prosecutor’s decision is procedurally flawed. The European Arrest Warrant against Mr. Assange, which is the basis for the UK police deployment against Mr. Assange around the embassy, was issued by her at her discretion and has not been issued by a court. It is the sole discretion of the Swedish prosecutor to issue or cancel the European Arrest Warrant, and also to instruct the UK authorities who formally act as the agents of Sweden how she considers the arrest warrant should be implemented.