UN expert concerned Assange faced at least 2 forms of privacy infringement

UN expert concerned Assange faced at least 2 forms of privacy infringement
# 27 April 2019 10:39 (UTC +04:00)

UN Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy, Joseph Cannataci, in a statement shared with Sputnik after his meeting with Julian Assange in jail, expressed concern, that the whistleblower had been subject to at least two different forms of serious infringement of privacy during his stay in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, ONA reports citing Sputnik.

Cannataci was the first person to meet Assange in the UK prison, apart from the whistleblower’s lawyers, after the police forcibly removed him from the embassy and arrested the WikiLeaks founder. The meeting took place on Thursday.

"My meetings yesterday, including with Mr. Assange, appear to corroborate at least two and possibly four different forms of serious infringement of privacy. This is of serious concern to me… The allegation that his privacy may have been interfered with is no longer in doubt," Cannataci said in a statement, issued on Friday.

The UN expert continued by saying it was unclear if Assange had been afforded the adequate minimum level of privacy during his stay at the embassy, adding that further assessment would be devoted to establishing this.

Moreover, Cannataci said he would work on finding out if the whistleblower's privacy had been interfered with in a non-arbitrary way in line with the legal norms of a democratic society.

"I will next review the data collected, collect additional evidence and then share my observations with the relevant Governments, with a high probability of my asking further questions of these Governments. I also reserve the right to share my assessment publicly as may be appropriate from time to time, given that this is also a matter of acute public interest, and if I determine that this can contribute to protect the right to privacy of Mr. Assange and others under human rights law," Cannataci insisted.

Assange lived in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for almost seven years before his asylum was revoked which resulted in his arrest on Sweden and US warrants.

The whistleblower now faces the risk of extradition to the United States on charges of conspiring to break in a government computer to leak classified information.