An interview was recently given by UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, to Republik on Julian Assange. The headline reads “A murderous system is being created before our very eyes”. During the interview, Melzer details just why he has got so involved in Assange’s case and what the implications of it are for the future of humanity.
Just to recap, Julian Assange, the former Wikileaks editor, was arrested last year after spending years incarcerated in the Ecuadorian embassy, where he sought asylum for fear of being deported to the US to face charges relating to his publication of leaked documents. It was back in 2010 that Wikileaks published damning evidence of torture and unlawful killings carried out by the US army, provided for by Chelsea Manning. He subsequently was wanted by Sweden on charges of rape, charges which have since been dropped, and which it has been suggested were part of a set-up to engineer Assange’s deportation to the US. Ecuador finally gave him up to the UK authorities last April, by inviting them into the embassy to extract Assange, after seven years of interment within the embassy walls.
The Wikileaks founder’s ordeal is set to continue however, it seems. The 48-year old is currently wasting away inside Belmarsh prison, where he was kept for months in solitary confinement, before incredibly, prisoners themselves protested and asked that he be allowed to mingle with the others. The authorities recently agreed to this concession, but it all too little too late it seems for a man who has been destroyed by the US and British governments, for essentially trying to tell the truth.
As for Nils Melzer, he explains in his recent interview why he has specifically got involved in Assange’s case. His reasons are given as follows: 1. He says that Assange was disclosing evidence of systematic torture by the US army, but he himself has been persecuted for this. 2. Assange has been so ill-treated that he is now exhibiting signs of psychological torture. 3. There is a high chance of him being extradited to a country which Amnesty International has condemned for its use of torture. He also feels that the case has a special symbolic significance for the future of our democracies.