The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, denounced that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whose extradition from the UK is being sought by the US authorities, has been a victim of political persecution and judicial arbitrariness.
“In my investigations into the Julian Assange case, I found compelling evidence of political persecution and judicial arbitrariness, as well as willful torture and ill-treatment,” Melzer was quoted as saying by Le Monde Diplomatique magazine. “However, the responsible states have refused to cooperate with me to take the investigative measures required by international law,” he added.
“The Assange case is the story of a man who is being persecuted and mistreated for revealing the dirty secrets of those in power, including war crimes, torture and corruption,” he stressed, noting that the event exposed democracies’ double standards on human rights to present in an exemplary manner”.
“It is also the history of manipulated and manipulative reporting in the mainstream media with the aim of isolating, demonizing and destroying a specific person on purpose,” the reporter explained. “In a democracy based on the rule of law, everyone is equal before the law,” he said.
Assange, 49, has been accused of espionage and hacking in the US for releasing hundreds of thousands of pages of secret military documents and diplomatic cables about Washington’s activities in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2010, which they leaked through their WikiLeaks portal.