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Human rights campaigner says deportation of Assange is "almost impossible"

Published måndag 7 februari 2011 kl 14.37
Campaigner: Not such a big risk
(4:12 min)
Mehdi Ghezali was arrested in Pakistan. Photo:Maja Suslin/Scanpix.

The chance of Julian Assange being deported to the USA by the Swedish authorities is very small, says a prominent human rights campaigner, who has worked on the issue of Guantanamo Bay.

In 2001 two men suspected of terrorism were deported to Egypt in 2001 to face torture; they were later paid major compensation by the Swedish authorities. And in 2002 a Swedish man, Mehdi Gezali, was held in the USA internment camp at Guantanamo for two years before being released, with no details of any charges against him

The Swedish author and campaigner Gösta Hultén wrote a book with Mehdi Gezali about his experiences. Hultén is also involved in campaigning to preserve the human rights that he says are threatened by the US-led war on terror.

But Gösta Hulten does not think that Julian Assange has much to fear from the USA if he comes to Sweden.

"I can understand his feelings about Sweden after the deportation of the two Egyptians, but I think it is almost impossible, according to the law and according to the political situation, for Assange to be handed over to the United States."

"Today, when the international criticism of Guantanamo is so severe, I don't think it is a risk that he will be detained there."

But could the Swedish authorities simply break their own rules, as happened in 2001?

"Of course it's a risk, but I don't think it is such a big risk ... The situation for Julian Assange is not the same, he is in a stronger position. The UK would have to agree, and I don't think that will happen."

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