The expert panel, in a statement, called on the Swedish and British authorities to ‘end Mr Assange’s deprivation of liberty, respect his physical integrity and freedom of movement, and afford him the right to compensation’.
Prosecutors in Sweden want to question Assange over allegations of rape stemming from a working visit he made to the country in 2010 when WikiLeaks was attracting international attention for its secret-spilling way.
Assange has consistently denied the allegations but declined to return to Sweden to meet with prosecutors and eventually sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he has lived since June 2012.
“We completely reject any claim that Julian Assange is a victim of arbitrary detention.” A UK Government spokesperson said, in a statement.
“Julian Assange has never been arbitrarily detained by the UK. The opinion of the UN Working Group ignores the facts and the well-recognised protections of the British legal system. He is, in fact, voluntarily avoiding lawful arrest by choosing to remain in the Ecuadorean embassy. An allegation of rape is still outstanding and a European Arrest Warrant in place, so the UK continues to have a legal obligation to extradite him to Sweden. As the UK is not a party to the Caracas Convention, we do not recognise ‘diplomatic asylum'” the statement said.
This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.
Associated Press contributed to this report.