The United Nations Rapporteur for torture, Nils Melzer, reports that Julian Assange is being tortured in a concerted and prolonged defamation campaign by the UK, US, Sweden and Ecuador.
In café Weltschmerz Rico Brouwer interviews Nils Melzer who’s visited Assange in Belmarsh prison. He asks him how Assange is doing and what’s up with the rule of law in our nations? Melzer: ‘to me this is a real test for these countries, for the West. As to whether they take the legacy of the second world war and the human rights treaties that they have established and that guarantee fair trial, that guarantee freedom of the press, that guarantee the prohibition of torturable treatment. They established the United Nations and mandated people like me to observe these rights. If they don’t take these United Nations reports seriously, then it really puts into question the validity of the commitment of these states to human rights’. He continues: ‘If the US acted in good faith, they would have investigated the crimes that were exposed by WikiLeaks and prosecuted the torture and the murder and so on that was exposed, and the corruption. Nothing of that happened. But the Whistle-blower that leaked the information and the journalist that published, these were the people that were prosecuted’.
‘Clearly it seems that they want to make an example of him, and to make sure that what he has been doing is not going to be imitated by others. Because somehow you can manage one WikiLeaks and one Julian Assange, but if you have ten thousand of these organisations and journalists popping up that use the internet so effectively to expose secret information, that obviously would no longer be manageable for these states and it could really change the way that world affairs are being conducted very fundamentally. And that’s what these states are afraid of’.
‘If we allow this precedent to be set, that states can do that, that they can prosecute journalists for exposing true information about crimes committed by Government officials, if that becomes a crime, and these officials are not prosecuted, then we really no longer have the rule of law’.
follow Nils Melzer on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NilsMelzer