- Whether the European Arrest Warrant was issued by a judicial authority.
- Whether someone can be called 'accused' if no decision to prosecute has been made.
In the framework of the European Arrest Warrant it is stated that it should be used "for the purposes of conducting a criminal prosecution or executing a custodial sentence or detention order." Julian Assange, who has not been accused with any crime, is only wanted for questioning which does not fall in to either intended use of the EAW.
Since its implement in 2004, the many people have faced injustice due to the European Arrest Warrant. In many instances, people have been arrested without ever being aware of the charges against them. In 2009, Mr. Edmond Arapi was arrested for a murder he could not have committed, for he was not even in the same country at the time of the crime. Mrs. Deborah Dark was arrested on multiple occassions over 20 years due to the fact that EAWs do not have to be withdrawn, even after multiple states have declined to enforce them. In other cases, EAWs have been issued against people for minor crimes such as the possession of .45 grams of cannibis or theft of a piglet.
Another prominent issue of the European Arrest Warrant is that people may face long bouts of pre-trial detention. When Michael Turner was extradited to Hungary in 2009, he was held in high security prison for four months and only interviewed once during this time. Even after his release, he had to return two months later for further interviews. This particular case applies strongly to Julian Assange, who is at risk of solitary confinement if extradited to Sweden, a country which has no limits to the length of pre-trial detention.
The UK Parliament will be holding a debate on extradition on 24 November. For those of you in the UK, I implore you to contact your MP and express your concerns about the European Arrest Warrant system.
We must fight this injustice.
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