Newspaper columnists on Saturday took aim at Julian Assange and the UN panel that found the anti-secrecy campaigner had been “arbitrarily detained”. The WikiLeaks founder, who faces a rape allegation in Sweden, urged Britain to let him walk free from Ecuador’s London embassy following the panel’s findings Friday. The 44-year-old Australian, who has been in the embassy for approaching four years, has refused to go to Sweden, fearing deportation to the United States over WikiLeaks’ release of 500,000 secret military files. “So that settles it then — everyone’s to blame except Julian Assange,” wrote Marina Hyde in The Guardian. “It is notable with Assange that the higher he has gone in his ‘quest for justice’, the smaller he has looked,” she wrote. Siobhan Fenton wrote in The Independent: “We have no idea if Julian Assange is a rapist — so why are we are so opposed to finding out?” The Daily Telegraph’s story said the United Nations had been ridiculed over the findings of its experts. The Times said the UN panel had also accused Ecuador of routine torture and arbitrary detention. The Sun’s headline said: “How dare they? Fury as UN panel demands Britain pay Julian Assange compo (compensation) after he hid from justice for three years.”
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