to go further RSF condemns BBC broadcast ban as example of Chinese government reprisal There has been no sign of any resolution of the legal and diplomatic tangle surrounding Assange in the past two years. Shortly after WikiLeaks posted confidential US documents in 2010, the Swedish judicial authorities began investigating allegations against Assange of sexual misconduct. Assange, who was in London at the time, fled to the Ecuadorean embassy after a British court approved Sweden’s extradition request. He then asked Ecuador to give him political asylum. His request was granted two months later.Persecuted in the USAlthough still the subject of an extradition order to Sweden, what Assange really fears is extradition to the United States, where the Department of Justice and the FBI began investigating him in 2010. The investigation is secret because it concerns allegedly criminal activities involving national security but, under US Code, Assange could be facing the death penalty.“As the First Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees the right to gather and publish information, Julian Assange should not be the subject of an investigation,” Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “The Obama administration has launched a war against WikiLeaks although the information it has published is of public interest.”Sweden and UK should rule out extradition to USIf it wanted to, Sweden could rule out any possibility of Assange being extradited to the United States. Its government has the right of veto over extraditions and extraditing Assange would anyway be illegal as extradition on political or military ground is excluded by article V.5 of the extradition agreement between Sweden and the US.Furthermore, the precedent set by the 1989 ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in Soering v. United Kingdom prevents Sweden or the UK from extraditing anyone to a country where they might face the death penalty.The Swedish government must undertake to respect the law and not approve any US extradition request. United KingdomEurope – Central Asia RSF_en WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has just completed his second year under permanent British police surveillance in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he sought refuge to avoid extradition to the United States via Sweden and a possible death sentence there. March 23, 2021 Find out more February 12, 2021 Find out more News News Receive email alerts February 11, 2021 Find out more Solidarity with Swedish media outlet Realtid ahead of UK defamation case hearing Organisation News United KingdomEurope – Central Asia June 19, 2014 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Assange completes second year in Ecuadorean embassy in London News Safety of journalists remains active concern in Northern Ireland as BBC Panorama team is threatened Help by sharing this information Follow the news on United Kingdom
German financial services companies transferred a record volume of pension liabilities from their balance sheet to BVV, the pension fund for the sector, in 2016.In total BVV collected more than €100m in one-off payments from employers running book reserve pension schemes, known as Direktzusagen. Through this model, companies make annual pension payments directly from their balance sheets rather than holding assets and liabilities in a segregated entity.The €26bn industry pension fund said this confirmed the trend for companies to outsource pension liabilities to external providers rather than keep them on their balance sheet.The transfer of liabilities happens by way of companies making one-off payments to BVV, which then takes on the pension obligations. According to a spokesman for BVV, in previous years payments made to the scheme were:“The banking industry in particular has been in a period of upheaval over the past 10 years or so and in a way is doing a bit of soul-searching”· 2011 – €5m· 2012 – €2.9m· 2013 – €26.8m· 2014 – €40m· 2015 – €5.9mMirko Buchwald, head of pensions management and products at BVV, told IPE that the record volume in 2016 was not due to any single event or development that happened during the year. Instead he said it was the reflection of a time-lag: companies, having been preoccupied with the repercussions of the financial crisis for several years, were now concentrating on core competencies and optimising their pension system as part of this.The low-yield environment, operational considerations, and strategic aspects were combining to prompt more and more companies to question the value of running Direktzusage schemes, said Buchwald.“The banking industry in particular has been in a period of upheaval over the past 10 years or so and in a way is doing a bit of soul-searching,” he said. “Things like pension provision are being closely examined as part of that.”The move to outsource pension provision was part of a wider trend towards collective industry-wide pension funds, which the government’s second pillar pension reform is likely to reinforce, added Buchwald. BVV expects companies to continue to shift away from book reserve schemes, he said.He said it was too early to say whether employers and unions in the finance industry would decide to set up one of the new defined contribution schemes, due to be introduced by the new pension legislation (Betriebsrentenstärkungsgesetz).