Friday, February 05, 2016

Minority report

The apparently perverse finding by a UN panel that a rape suspect who jumped bail and sought asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy has been "detained arbitrarily" received no support in Britain - even from the newspaper which published the revelations for which he claims he is being victimised.

Roy Greenslade describes here how all five national newspapers which have written leaders on the subject, and between them cover both right and left wing perspectives, give the decision "short shrift."

The Guardian, the paper which had published the "WikiLeak" revelations for which the suspect, Julian Assange, says he is being victimised, said it was "simply wrong" to suggest that he is being detained arbitrarily and accused him of “a publicity stunt.”

The Guardian added that it was possible to applaud Assange’s role in the exposure of embarrassing and sometimes illegal US activity, “without accepting his right to evade prosecutors’ questions about the allegation that he committed a serious criminal offence.” It concluded:
“WikiLeaks was founded on exposing those who ignored the rule of law. Surely its editor-in-chief should recognise his duty to see it upheld.”
The Guardian also published an excellent piece by Joshua Rozenberg,

"How did the UN get it so wrong on Julian Assange?"

The UN panel which made this finding had five members, but one recused herself as she shared Julian Assange's Australian nationality.

The other members of the panel split three to one in favour of the ruling, which has no legal force, against the British and Swedish authorities.

The dissenting member, Ukrainian lawyer Vladimir Tochilovsky, has published a minority opinion, which seems to me to be so self-evidently correct that I do not think any further discussion is needed, and it reads as follows:

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