The Journalist Support Committee Calls on the United Kingdom to Protect Journalistic Sources in the case of Julian Assange
In light of the arrest of Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, the Journalist Support Committee calls on the United Kingdom to act in accordance with international law and the public interest by upholding the principles of freedom of expression and ensure the protection of journalistic sources in the case of Julian Assange.
In June 2016 the United Nations working group on Arbitrary Detention described Assange as being ‘arbitrarily detained’ and that the ‘deprivation of his liberty’ should not continue. For Assange to be extradited to the United States would constitute a violation of Article 10 of the European Convention on the Protection of Human Rights (ECHR) which guarantees the right to freedom of expression. The United States of America has repeatedly failed to provide adequate protection for whistle-blowers.
As a member of the Council of Europe, the United Kingdom is committed to upholding the ECHR and as the UK is under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) there would be legal consequences if the UK fails to ensure the protection of journalistic sources in the case of Assange.
The Journalist Support Committee condemns the revocation of Julian Assange’s diplomatic status by Ecuador and his subsequent arrest by UK police which places Assange at risk of extradition to the United States which would constitute a clear reprisal against his journalistic activities.
Journalist Support Committee - Switzerland
11 April 2019