The undersigned members of the International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations (INCLO) express concern over Mr. Julian Assange’s arrest and detention on Thursday April 11 by police officers in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Assange was arrested after Ecuador revoked his political asylum status without prior formal notification or meaningful hearing, raising serious human rights concerns including the risk of extradition to the United States where he could be subject to solitary confinement that amounts to torture, cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment. This also sets a negative precedent internationally regarding the protection of people seeking asylum based on credible fear of persecution.
We are also concerned about the United States’ indictment against Mr. Assange, which raises serious world-wide implications for freedom of the press. The US Justice Department’s charges are an attack on basic journalistic activities such as investigating, soliciting information, cultivating sources, protecting reporters’ identity, and publishing information of public interest.
Whistleblowers who provide information and those who publish information of public interest require protection in the name of transparency, journalistic freedoms, and above all, the rule of law.
Agora International Human Rights Group (Russia)
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)
Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA)
Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS, Argentina)
Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR)
Human Rights Law Network (HRLN, India)
Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU)
Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL)
Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC)
Legal Resources Centre (LRC, South Africa)
Liberty (United Kingdom)