Since June of 2012, WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange, has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, afraid of exiting the building lest he get arrested and extradited to Sweden on sexual assault charges.
However, many believe that the charges are politically motivated, as Assange is wanted for releasing government secrets to the public.
An open letter, signed by over 500 cultural dignitaries, has called for Assange to be allowed to walk free, citing a UN report that Swedish authorities used disproportionate force and subjected Assange to arbitrary detention, the Guardian reports.
“We … condemn the reactions of the governments of Sweden and the United Kingdom to the finding by UNWGAD that Julian Assange is arbitrarily detained. The governments of Sweden and the United Kingdom are setting a dangerous precedent that undermines the United Nations human rights system as a whole,” the letter reads.
Signatories include the Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, US author Noam Chomsky, the composer Brian Eno and Chinese sculptor and political activist Ai Weiwei.
The UK foreign secretary has condemned the UN report as “ridiculous” and presses for Assange’s arrest.
The letter, organized by the group “Justice for Assange,” was presented at a UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva on Tuesday.