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The United Nations has issued a scathing press release insisting that the “collective persecution of Julian Assange must end here and now!”
Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on torture said that Assange has been exposed to psychological torture and warns that the award-winning publisher could face the death penalty if he is extradited to the United States.
Melzer - Assange - Experts - Torture - Victims
Melzer visited Assange along with two medical experts who specialize in examining potential torture victims on May 9.
“My most urgent concern is that, in the United States, Mr. Assange would be exposed to a real risk of serious violations of his human rights, including his freedom of expression, his right to a fair trial and the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” said Melzer.
Announcement - US - Department - Justice - Charges
“I am particularly alarmed at the recent announcement by the US Department of Justice of 17 new charges against Mr. Assange under the Espionage Act, which currently carry up to 175 years in prison. This may well result in a life sentence without parole, or possibly even the death penalty, if further charges were to be added in the future,” Melzer continued.
Melzer also said that he is “gravely concerned” about the restrictions on lawyer visits and Assange’s lack of access to case files in Belmarsh prison, where he is currently being held. He said that the conditions make it impossible for him to adequately prepare his defense against the complex legal proceedings that are stacking up.
Thursday - Assange - Hearing - Video - Link
On Thursday, Assange was too ill to appear for a hearing even by video link.He has been moved to the prison’s medical unit and cannot even hold a normal conversation with his lawyers.
“Since 2010, when Wikileaks started publishing evidence of war crimes and torture committed by US forces, we have seen a sustained and concerted effort by several States towards...
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