May 31, 2012
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to you to express my severe concern about the journalist Julian Assange. The European Convention on Human Rights prohibits arbitrary and unlawful detention, as well as the death penalty. And yet, Julian Assange has been detained without being charged with any crime in any country for more than 540 days.
The UK Supreme Court denied his appeal on extradition on 30 May 2012. This means that he will be forced to take his appeal to the European Court for Human Rights. There are various reasons why I as a European citizen/World citizen am concerned about this case and urge you to accept his appeal against the extradition.
Firstly, as you certainly are aware, the European Arrest Warrant is not meant as a tool to extradite people for questioning only. If Mr. Assange is extradited under the EAW, it will establish a dangerous precedent. It will make it possible for every citizen detained in the EU to be extradited to another country without a charge or any evidence against them, which I consider a more than distressing development.
I have also read that the Court has already judged that a prosecutor is not a judicial authority, at least on two occasions: arrêt Medvedyev contre France (3394/03) and arrêt Moulin contre France n°37104/06.
Moreover, since it is possible under the Swedish law to be questioned outside Sweden, I conceive no need for an extradition. If he is extradited to Sweden, we know that he awaits incommunicado detention for an indefinite amount of time. For a man who has not been charged with any crime, I consider this arbitrary and unlawful detention and thus a violation of European Convention on Human Rights which the ECHR aims to uphold.
These are not my only concerns about the case of Julian Assange. Once he is extradited to Sweden, the danger of his further extradition to the USA looms. It has emerged through the release of internal emails by the US private intelligence service Stratfor that the USA have issued a sealed indictment against Mr. Assange over a year ago. There is also a secret Grand Jury against WikiLeaks going on at the moment, attempting to charge Mr. Assange under the Espionage Act. Once charged under this law, he could face capital punishment.
There is a bilateral agreement between the United States and Sweden which allows Julian Assange to be extradited to the US as soon as he arrives in Sweden. Once he is detained in the USA – a country that has legally allowed the Geneva Convention laws that protect detainees to be suspended for individuals that are deemed enemies of the state – Julian Assange risks kidnapping, torture, and execution.
Both the UK and Sweden refuse to guarantee that they will not extradite Julian Assange to the United States. Political and military extraditions are expressly prohibited under the extradition treaty between Sweden and the United States, so this refusal is unusual. Moreover, it is likely that the US will request extradition on charges that are not overtly political. It is difficult for an individual to prove that the underlying motivations for an extradition are political, especially where the requesting state is a close political ally, which is the case of the United States both for Sweden and for the UK.
I therefore consider the extradition as an imminent threat to his physical integrity and his life. It is upon the European Court for Human Rights to protect the human rights of every person on European soil and therefore, taking all these aspects into consideration, the Court will hopefully find that it needs to accept Julian Assanges appeal and deny his extradition in order to ensure his human rights are respected.