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News > Ecuador

Ecuadorean Tribunal Court Upholds Prison Order for Swedish Privacy Rights Activist Ola Bini

  • Ola Bini's request to be relased to prison have been denied

    Ola Bini's request to be relased to prison have been denied | Photo: Reuters

Published 2 May 2019

Ola Bini  was placed in 90-day preventative custody April 13 by Ecuadorean police authorities.

The Pichincha Tribunal Court of Justice ratified the detention of Ola Bini, Swedish information technology privacy advocate, on Thursdau night, El Comercio reported.

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Judges Juana Pacheco, Ines Romero and Fabian Fabara reviewed the case appeal made by Bini's legal team, listening to the defense for 90 minutes before withdrawing from the courtroom to deliberate for over three hours before returning with a decision.

The 36-year-old web programmer was arrested April 11 after being linked to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Bini’s parents assure the pair were friends and not guilty of attempting to destabilize the government by “collaborating” with Assange, as implied by the Ecuadorean government.

Bini was initially arrested two days prior at the Quito international airport as he tried to board his flight to Japan after being declared a “flight-risk,” due to his frequent trips to Europe and the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, allegedly to visit Assange. Ecuadorean police put the Swedish programmer in 90-day preventative custody April 13.

Ola Bini, an author and prominent advocate for free software and comprehensive digital privacy, has worked with a variety of organizations on anonymity and secure communication.

The computer scientist, originally from Sweden, has lived in Ecuador for several years. His detention occured hours after Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo claimed there were “Russian hackers” in the country. In his last tweet before his arrest, Bini accused the government of a witch hunt.

Romo said that Bini was arrested as part of an investigation to verify information about Wikileaks.

The United Nations has denounced the Swede’s detainment as arbitrary, saying the Ecuadorean government has nothing to connect him to Assange or to any crime.

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