WikiLeaks released the statement below on June 16 to mark six months since its editor-in-chief Julian Assange was placed under house arrest in Britain.
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Today, June 16 2011, Julian Assange will have spent six months under house arrest. He has not been charged with a crime in any country. The conditions of his detention are excessive and dehumanising.
A Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny submitted a European Arrest Warrant for questioning in relation to a preliminary investigation regarding allegations of sexual misconduct in Sweden.
The allegations are controversial due to the involvement of a politician in reopening the investigation, which was previously closed, the actions of Swedish police and because both complainants (who went to the police together after meeting each other) admit to multiple consensual sexual acts, over multiple days, with Mr Assange.
Both complainants admit consenting to sex and that consent to sex was not removed at any stage. The allegation made is that Mr Assange did not immediately inform the complainants that a condom had split or that he was not wearing a condom.
Although Mr Assange has volunteered to be heard using standard European cooperation mechanisms such as the Mutual Legal Assistance.
These offers have, without explanation, been refused. Due to the “rubber stamp” nature of the European Arrest Warrant system, Mr Assange cannot put the allegations to the test.
However, even the allegations as they are made do not amount to crimes in Britain. If he were to go to Sweden he would be kept in detention indefinitely and incommunicado.
If charged, he will be subjected to a trial held in secret. He will not be allowed to see all the evidence against him.
Outside observers will not be able to scrutinise the merits of the case.
Julian Assange voluntarily stayed in Sweden for four weeks to clear his name. During this time he repeatedly tried to arrange a time to be questioned.
The prosecutor who issued the European Arrest Warrant and the Interpol red notice was asked if he could leave Sweden, and she confirmed that he could.
Only after Julian Assange had arrived in Britain and moments before WikiLeaks started to publish the US Diplomatic Cables, the Swedish authorities decided to issue a European Arrest Warrant and, unusually, an Interpol Red Notice.
In the US, the Obama administration declared Julian Assange and WikiLeaks to be “hi tech terrorists”. Both the Pentagon and the CIA initiated publicly declared task forces.
In Australia, Julian Assange’s home country, the government started a “whole of government task force” into WikiLeaks, including both their intelligence agencies, the Department of Defence and the Federal Police.
However, after public outrage, the Australian government subsequently found no laws had been breached and dismissed the inquiries.
Back in Sweden, the Swedish government, in violation of its own laws gave Julian Assange’s identity and the details of the unconfirmed allegations against him to the press, defaming him around the world.
When agreements that allowed for Julian Assange’s safe travel to Sweden to give his side of the story were not honoured, Julian Assange continued to request a hearing with the Swedish authorities from Britain.
Despite this, Sweden has refused to cooperate with him and resorted to excessive force by preventing his freedom of movement.
The Swedish government has refused to state that it will not hand over Mr Assange to the United States. This is why he is fighting this disproportionate and unfair extradition order.
Whilst fighting this battle, and trying to continue with his important work for freedom of information, he is being forced to remain in unfair and undignified conditions.
On the six-month anniversary of his house arrest his supporters and staff have been interviewed to explain their perspective of his bail conditions and describe their impact on Julian Assange, and WikiLeaks’ work.