The Friends of WikiLeaks
(FoWL) group boasts members worldwide.
They describe themselves as follows: "FoWL are a global collective of supporters, groups and networks who are united in their appreciation of the work of WikiLeaks - an organisation which aims to promote greater transparency and accountability of the powerful structures in our society in an effort to strengthen democracy and uphold global human rights."
The group states that Assange has been under house arrest in the U.K. without charge for nearly two years. They claim that his extradition to Sweden for questioning about an alleged sex crime will only prolong his detention.
Swedish authorities have accused the WikiLeaks
founder of raping one woman and sexually molesting a second in August of 2010, while visiting Stockholm to give a lecture. Assange claims that both encounters were consensual and that the case is purely politically motivated.
The group's letter
states, “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, we consider this arbitrary and unlawful detention and thus a violation of European Convention on Human Rights which the ECHR aims to uphold.”
further raise concerns over this extradition saying that it is possibly setting a dangerous precedent:
“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 we consider a more than distressing development.”
In closing the letter, the group makes an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, hoping that it will find “that it needs to accept Julian Assange’s appeal and deny his extradition in order to ensure his human rights are respected.”
In other related news, Digital Journal
has just reported that Julian Assange is seeking political asylum at the Ecuador Embassy in London. Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño said that his country "is evaluating Mr. Assange’s request."