In December 2011, Sweden pursued preventing Julian Assange from applying to ECHR to appeal his case. In June 2012 this is exactly what happened.

On 30th of May 2012 Julian Assange lost his appeal in UK’s Supreme Court (with three judges out of seven opposing extradition) that decided he should be extradited to Sweden. His QC applied to re-open the appeal, a request that was rejected on 14.06.2012 and he was given 14 days to 28th of June until his actual extradition would be effected, giving him 14 days (till the 28th of June) for his last legal move to apply to the European Court of Human Rights.

On the 19th of June 2012, Julian Assange sought refuge inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Three days later he gave this interview to ABC radio:

You can read parts of the Transcript here and here.

He explained about moves by the Swedish authorities: “An announcement was made by the Swedish government that I would be detained, without charge, in Sweden, immediately on extradition. They tried to cancel the 14 days that I had here to apply to appeal the matter at the European Court of Human Rights.” and he linked these moves to plans for his ultimate extradition to the US by Sweden.

This move by Sweden was not widely reported at the time. Years later though in September 2019 with Julian Assange already a remand prisoner in HMP Belmarsh, held there at the behest of US for potential US extradition from the UK, the issue was highlighted by Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. In May that year Swedish Prosecutors had re-opened the investigation against Julian Assange and in a 19 page letter to the Swedish Authorities among other matters he said:

Disregard for the right of appeal to the European Court of Human Rights:

On 15 June 2012, one day after the British Supreme Court had dismissed Mr. Assange’s challenge to the Swedish extradition request, Swedish prosecutor MN reportedly requested that Mr. Assange’s time window to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights be reduced to “zero”, subjecting him to immediate arrest and extradition, the only conceivable purpose of which could be to deliberately deprive Mr. Assange of his right to appeal to the Court and, thereby, of his protection from potentially irreparable harm contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights.

This week investigative journalist Stefania Maurizi has shared e-mails that show “the Swedish authorities considered tactics to extradite him to Sweden before he could appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.” as early as December 2011.

It is the first time that independent corroboration surfaces, for what Julian Assange claimed was a major factor in his decision to seek political asylum. He keeps being proven right. #FreeJulianAssange

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