<p>A van showing support for Chelsea&nbsp;Manning and Assange</p>

UN torture official says persecution of Assange threatens journalists worldwide


UN torture official says persecution of Assange threatens journalists worldwide

UN torture official says persecution of Assange threatens journalists worldwide

N

ils Melzer says a lot of very striking things. The UN special rapporteur on torture says the way that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his most famous source, Chelsea Manning, have been treated by the US and UK authorities amounts to just that – torture. What is more, this mistreatment is not by chance, not a simple, unanticipated byproduct of the authorities’ efforts to stop the leak and publication of their secrets. Rather, this mistreatment is intentional, intended not only to silence them, but to intimidate and threaten others too.

This is why he says what has happened to the pair, as Washington seeks to punish and prosecute firstly Manning and now Assange, amounts to “persecution”.

“When I say persecution I feel that the instrument of prosecution is being used for ulterior motives, for political motives, and that is what turns a prosecution into a persecution,” Melzer tells The Independent. “It is not used genuinely to prosecute a crime, but it’s used to intimidate journalists worldwide and publishers worldwide.”


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