UN Official on Assange

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UN Official on Assange

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

Concerned about reports of Julian Assange’s expulsion from Ecuador’s London embassy, UN special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer expressed alarm, intending to get involved in what’s going on. 

In cahoots with the US and UK, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno unjustifiably seeks justification to rescind Assange’s asylum, wanting him expelled from the country’s London embassy and handed over to British authorities  – ignoring international law and his rights as an Ecuadorian citizen.

Expulsion assures extradition to the US to face unjust prosecution and harsh detention, amounting to prohibited cruel and unreasonable treatment, similar to how Chelsea Manning was and continues to be tortured in solitary confinement – since early March for invoking her constitutional rights, ignored by a sentencing federal district court judge.

Assange, Manning, Edward Snowden, and other courageous whistleblowers are targeted by the US for the crime of truth-telling – in Assange’s case, for journalism the way it’s supposed to be.

It’s entirely absent in America and West except from alternative sources – dedicated to countering official narrative managed news misinformation, disinformation and bald-faced Big Lies.

Melzer issued the following statement on behalf of Assange. Here it is in full, saying:

“In my assessment, if Mr. Assange were to be expelled from the embassy of Ecuador, he is likely to be arrested by British authorities and extradited to the United States,” adding: 

“Such a response could expose him to a real risk of serious violations of his human rights, including his freedom of expression, his right to a fair trial, and the prohibition of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

“I therefore urge the government of Ecuador to abstain from expelling Mr. Assange from its Embassy in London, or from otherwise ceasing or suspending his political asylum until such time as the full protection of his human rights can be guaranteed.”

“Should Mr. Assange come under British jurisdiction for any reason, I urge the British government to refrain from expelling, returning or extraditing Mr. Assange to the United States or any other jurisdiction, until his right to asylum under refugee law or subsidiary protection under international human rights law has been determined in a transparent and impartial proceeding granting all due process and fair trial guarantees, including the right to appeal.”

“According to information I have received, Mr. Assange is at risk of extreme vulnerability, and his health is in serious decline.” 

“I therefore appeal to the Ecuadorian authorities to continue to provide him, to the fullest extent possible in the circumstances, with adequate living conditions and access to appropriate medical care.”

“I am currently preparing a formal request to the governments of Ecuador and the United Kingdom to carry out an on-site visit to Mr. Assange, and to meet with the relevant authorities of both states in order to assess the situation and risks faced by Mr. Assange in light of the universal and absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

“Extradition without due process safeguards, including an individual risk assessment and adequate protection measures violates international law, particularly if the destination State practices the death penalty and has not disclosed the criminal charges held against the person concerned. Under such circumstances, the international legal prohibition of ‘refoulement’ is absolute, regardless of considerations of national security, political expediency or any other similar considerations.”

UN special rapporteur on the right to privacy Joseph Cannataci’s attempt to meet with Assange in London was prevented so far by the Moreno regime.

It failed to respond to his request, followed by a letter from its foreign minister, falsely claiming Assange violated Moreno’s privacy and other phony charges.

Harshly mistreated in Ecuador’s London embassy, he’s held hostage by Moreno regime complicity with Britain and the US.

According to WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson last fall, “(t)he treatment of Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy is unacceptable,” adding: 

“It is despicable that a nation’s government turns against a man it has granted diplomatic asylum in such a way that he has less rights than a prisoner.”

Denied his fundamental rights, his health, welfare and life are greatly jeopardized.

Support from legions of followers worldwide sustains him. Expelling him from Ecuador’s London embassy would be life-threatening.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.