WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is suffering from "intense psychological trauma" in a British prison and should not be extradited to the United Sates to face a "politicized show trial," according to a UN human rights investigator.
UN torture expert Nils Melzer visited Assange in a high-security London prison on May 9 along with two medical experts, only to find the journalist under severe stress, agitated, and unable to cope with his complex legal case amid chronic anxiety, according to Reuters.
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"Our finding was that Mr. Assange shows all the symptoms of a person who has been exposed to psychological torture for a prolonged period of time. The psychiatrist who accompanied my mission said that his state of health was critical," he told Reuters in an interview in Geneva, adding "But my understanding is that he has now been hospitalized and that he is not able to stand trial."
Melzer's comments come after Assange's attorney said he was unwell when he failed to show up for a London court hearing Thursday regarding his extradition battle. The 47-year-old is currently serving a 50-week sentence in the UK's Belmarsh jail for skipping bail. According to WikiLeaks he has been moved to the prison's health ward.
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"Mr. Assange has been deliberately exposed, for a period of several years, to progressively severe forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the cumulative effects of which can only be described as psychological torture," said Melzer.
Melzer, a Swiss law professor, did...
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