UN Consequences

UN Consequences

Dozens of legal and civil society organizations denounce UK over Assange at the UN’s 2017 Universal Periodic Review of the United Kingdom

Every five years, the United Nations reviews each state’s compliance with international human rights law in its ’Universal Periodic Review.’ This is the most comprehensive human rights review mechanism at the disposal of the UN’s Human Rights Council.

This report focuses on various problems in the UK’s implementation of the human rights conventions. The report uses the UK’s position in relation to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s findings on the Assange as a concrete case to test the general health and effectiveness of the UK Human Rights system.

Assange’s case "raises serious concerns regarding the UK’s ability to guarantee equal treatment and the right to a fair trial, protection against inhuman and degrading treatment and arbitrary deprivation of liberty, the right to privacy and family life and the right to health. In addition, Mr Assange’s case is emblematic of the trajectory of human rights protection in the UK, with the UK’s apparent efforts to cut off access to human rights appeal mechanisms, and demonstrates the importance of access to UN complaint mechanisms for UK citizens and residents."

PDF - 280.2 kb
Joint Submission for the 22nd Session of the UPR of the UK
Joint stakeholder report to the UN Human Rights Council for the 22nd session of the Universal Periodic Review of the United Kingdom, 2017

The extremely concerning trajectory of human rights protection in the UK is only set to worsen with the planned partial withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights.

Stakeholder reports are used to inform the UN Human Rights Council of areas of concern and issues at stake. These concerns are then raised with the United Kingdom, which is required to respond.

In 2014, dozens of stakeholders submitted reports to the UN Human Rights Council ahead of the Universal Periodic Review of Sweden, in order to assist the monitoring of progress in the area of human rights compliance. Three of those joint reports, submitted by sixty organisations, concerned Mr. Assange’s case:

  • Joint Stakeholder report 1 - English
  • Joint Stakeholder report 2 Spanish
  • Joint Stakeholder report 3 - Spanish

500 Influential Signatories Denounce UK & Sweden

Letter to ambassadors of UK and Sweden from 500 Signatories condemning these countries’ reaction over UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention decision regarding Assange’s arbitrary detention.

500 signatories, including four Nobel Prize Laureates, two Academy Award winners, jurists, academics, and parliamentarians condemn Sweden and UK over Assange

PDF - 83.5 kb
Letter to Representative of UK to UN
500 signatories, including four Nobel Prize Laureates, Law Professors, Academics and Parliamentarians urge UK to comply with UN decision.
PDF - 83 kb
Letter to Representative of Sweden to UN
500 signatories, including four Nobel Prize Laureates, Law Professors, Academics and Parliamentarians urge Sweden to comply with UN decision.

Human Rights Committee raises Assange case with Sweden at its review - 10 March 2016

The Human Rights Committee monitors states’ compliance with the binding legal provisions of the ICCPR. This committee raised Mr. Assange’s case with the delegation of Sweden on 10 March 2016, during its consideration of the seventh periodic report of Sweden on its implementation of the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The Committee raised Assange’s case with Sweden because after the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention determined that Sweden in in breach of its binding obligations under "articles 7, 9(1), 9(3), 9(4), 10 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights". The experts of the Committee stated Sweden’s explanations were "unsatisfactory".

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reprimands Sweden and UK

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, commented:

"Human rights law, the treaty body law is binding law, it is not discretionary law, it is not some passing fancy that a state can apply sometimes and not in the others," Zeid, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told reporters at the end of a four-day visit.

A spokesman for Zeid said the panel based its decision on the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

"If there are further court cases on Assange, you are likely to see the Working Group’s opinion cited in the court, and quite possibly in the judgement," spokesman Rupert Colville told AFP.

2298 days under house arrest.

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