UN slams Assange jail sentence
THE United Nations has gone into bat for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, saying his 50-week jail sentence for dodging bail was "disproportionate."
The Wikileaks founder remains in the maximum security Belmarsh prison in England, where he is also battling extradition to the United States.
But the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has criticised the sentence imposed on Assange this week, which was two weeks' short of the maximum.
The group said it was "deeply concerned about … the disproportionate sentence imposed on Mr Assange," it said in a statement.
They are angry that he was kept in a high security prison among murderers and violent criminals.
"This treatment appears to contravene the principles of necessity and proportionality envisaged by the human rights standards," the panel said.
Assange also faced court this week as the US tries to bring him there to face charges of allegedly hacking into government computers.
The hack led to the 2010 dump of hundreds of thousands of classified documents.
Assange defiantly told the Westminster Court that he would not willingly be sent to the United States to face the hacking conspiracy charge.
He would face up to five years jail if convicted in the United States, but he claimed he feared extra charges would be added once he arrived.
Assange returns to court on May 30 for the next stage of his extradition hearing.