GENEVA (1 November 2019) – The UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, has expressed alarm at the continued deterioration of Julian Assange’s health since his arrest and detention earlier this year, saying his life was now at risk.
Nils Melzer reiterates
“However, what we have seen from the UK Government is outright contempt for Mr. Assange’s rights and integrity,” Melzer said. “Despite the medical urgency of my appeal, and the seriousness of the alleged violations, the UK has not undertaken any measures of investigation, prevention and redress required under international law.”
“Despite the complexity of the proceedings against him led by the world’s most powerful Government, Mr. Assange’s access to legal counsel and documents has been severely obstructed, thus effectively undermining his most fundamental right to prepare his defence”
“In my view, this case has never been about Mr. Assange’s guilt or innocence, but about making him pay the price for exposing serious governmental misconduct, including alleged war crimes and corruption. Unless the UK urgently changes course and alleviates his inhumane situation, Mr. Assange’s continued exposure to arbitrariness and abuse may soon end up costing his life.”
In his urgent appeal to the UK Government, the Special Rapporteur strongly recommended that Mr. Assange’s extradition to the United States be barred, and that he be promptly released and allowed to recover his health and rebuild his personal and professional life.