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UN expert on privacy plans to visit Julian Assange

GENEVA (5 April 2018) - The Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy, Joe Cannataci, plans to meet Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on 25 April after receiving assurances from the Government of Ecuador that it will facilitate his visit to the country’s embassy in London.

The UN expert said the meeting would help determine if there exists a prima facie case of violation of privacy that warrants further investigation.

Cannataci also confirmed that he is requesting further information from the Government on a complaint lodged by the President of Ecuador that his privacy had been violated by publication of personal data illegally obtained by a website involved in the so-called “INA Papers” scandal.

In response to requests for information, the Special Rapporteur has published a timeline of recent events at https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Privacy/SR_Privacy/TimelineAssangeMeeting.docx


Mr. Joseph Cannataci (Malta) was appointed as the first Special Rapporteur on the right to privacy by the Human Rights Council in July 2015, with his mandate being renewed in 2018 until July 2021. He is an academic who has had a pioneering role in the development of data protection, privacy law and technology law. A UK Chartered Information Technology Professional & Fellow of the British Computer Society, he also continues to act as Expert Consultant to a number of international organisations. 

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organisation and serve in their individual capacity. 

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