UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Confirms Assange ‘Being Tortured to Death’ in HM Prison Belmarsh
Nov. 1, 2021 (EIRNS)—After last week’s hearing as to whether the extradition of Julian Assange to the U.S. might provoke a mental breakdown, Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, put matters on their feet. In an interview with RT’s Going Underground, he said that Assange has no psychological problems, except as a by-product of the abuse from his isolation at the U.K.’s high-security HM Prison Belmarsh.
“If he should die in prison, he’s effectively been tortured to death. That’s the reality of it. And I’m not exaggerating.” Hence, it is a phony issue to pose the U.K. as protecting Assange from the possible torture in the U.S. He’s being tortured and he likely would be treated similarly in the U.S.
In May 2019, Melzer, along with medical experts, visited Assange and everyone concluded that his mind was fine, but his life was in danger. As Melzer said:
“I’ve been working in areas of war, I have a long history of visiting prisoners. And I visited Julian Assange, and I had two specialized, forensic doctors with me and a psychiatrist, evaluating him for four hours. We all, independently from each other, came to those conclusions, at that time, his life was in danger. And, sure enough, a few days after we left the prison, he entered the downward spiral. Julian Assange is not mentally ill. Yes, he has a slight form of autism as, you know, some people do, but he’s a very resilient, intelligent man. And so, he does not belong in a mental institution, right? So, if he has a mental issue now, it’s because of the abuse that he has suffered. And you cannot—you cannot get someone to recover from torture, by continuing to torture him. And that’s exactly what they do, they isolate him, they keep him in that limbo....” [emphasis in original]
Even assuming the extradition was a legal request, all the U.K. had to do to secure his presence was to put him under house arrest. Melzer explained:
“That’s what they did with Augusto Pinochet. He was protected by the U.K. government. They put him in a villa. Margaret Thatcher visited him and brought him whisky. And as soon as a doctor attested that he had some problems to concentrate and slight forms of amnesia, he was funnelled out without even facing a judge. Julian Assange, who has—grave medical harm has been caused to him in the last decade, through that constant isolation, defamation and abuse, and the constant anxiety that he suffers. And he’s been isolated absolutely unnecessarily, and therefore unlawful. So, he’s continuously also arbitrarily detained. It would be a tragedy if he lost his life in those circumstances.” [emphasis in original]