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About Assange, torture and punishment

Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, says the following about Assange:

This article is machine translated by Google from Norwegian

• Julian Assange is not convicted and does not pose a threat to anyone. His long-term isolation in a high-security prison is neither necessary nor proportionate and without a legal basis.

Nils Melzer

• 65 of the approximately 160 inmates in Belmarsh Prison have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, including an inmate in the same wing as Julian Assange. Facilitation of imprisonment – which we see all over the world in response to the coronavirus – should be extended to all prisoners unless imprisonment is absolutely necessary. First and foremost, alternative relief should be extended to include those particularly vulnerable, such as Assange, who have lung problems.

• In December 2015, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention stated that Julian Assange, since his arrest on December 7, 2010, has been subjected to various forms of arbitrary detention, including ten days in Wandsworth Prison in London; 550 days house arrest and almost seven years' stay at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he risked arrest if he left the building.

Video from inside Belmarsh 2017, of what is supposed to be Julian Assange's cell and Assange in conversation with an unknown
person. (Screenshot Ruptly / Youtube)

• Assange has also been held in almost total isolation in the Belmarsh High Security Prison in London since April 2019.

• The British authorities originally arrested Assange on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by the Swedish authorities in connection with allegations of sexual harassment which have since been formally revoked due to lack of evidence.

• The fact that Assange is currently in custody is to ensure his presence during the ongoing American extradition case, a process that may well extend over several years.

• Given the significant health risk that continued imprisonment will entail, as well as Assange's concerns about treatment and conditions during his detention, he should be released immediately or placed under house arrest.

"Assange's rights have been severely violated for more than a decade." Nils Melzer

• Assange's rights have been severely violated for more than a decade. He must now be allowed to live normally, with family, social interaction and professional development, not least to restore his health and prepare the defense against the upcoming American extradition request.

• Due to the great power of the United States serious human rights problems, the British authorities should not extradite him to the United States.

UN Special Rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva – based UN Human Rights Council to investigate and report on a specific human rights issue or special situations in selected countries. The experts are not employed by the UN, nor are they paid for their work. See video www.setjulianfree.org in the House of Literature in Oslo in September 2020. There is also extensive documentation on the case against Julian Assange.

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