By Janet Phelan
Dr. Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, recently published a call out for submissions on “Psychological Torture and Ill Treatment.” In the call out, he refers also to the phenomenon of “no touch torture,” which has been defined as including the use of electronic weapons, such as those which recently were reported as being used to attack diplomats in Cuba and elsewhere.
Dr. Melzer was interviewed multiple times recently concerning the plight of Julian Assange, who is being held in Belmarsh Prison and faces potential extradition to the US, where he is charged with such crimes against humanity as publishing documents indicating that the US has engaged in war crimes. In an article published on June 26, Melzer has stated that “What may look like mere «mudslinging» in public debate, quickly becomes “mobbing” when used against the defenseless, and even “persecution” once the State is involved. Now just add purposefulness and severe suffering, and what you get is full-fledged psychological torture.”
After visiting Assange in prison, the UN reported that
The Special Rapporteur and his medical team visited the imprisoned Wikileaks founder in May and reported that he showed “all the symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture” and demanded immediate measures for the protection of his health and dignity.
Melzer’s subsequent request for submissions on Psychological Torture and Ill Treatment may very well reflect his growing knowledge that Assange is not alone in suffering state sponsored psychological abuse. Others have been forced to take refuge in foreign countries due to the targeting that has been inflicted upon them by the surveillance state. Edward Snowden, Suzie Dawson and other people whose names are not in the common vernacular have sought protection abroad due to the phenomenon of surveillance abuse and targeting.
And this is where things get muddy. In the Concept Notes attached to his call out, Melzer refers to “no touch torture” as an aspect of psychological abuse. In fact, no touch torture has been defined as including the use of unconventional weapons, such as electronics. In a 2015 article in Global Research,