UN Torture Report: ‘Demonized’ Assange Has Faced ‘Psychological Torture’

The UN special rapporteur on torture has blasted four nations for imposing psychological torture on Julian Assange.

‘A Relentless and Unrestrained Campaign of
Public Mobbing, Intimidation and Defamation’

Warns of ‘Criminalization of Journalism’

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

The UN special rapporteur on torture has issued a stinging rebuke to the United States, Great Britain, Sweden and Ecuador for “deliberately” exposing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to years of “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” which can only be described as “psychological torture.”

“In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution I have never seen a group of democratic States ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonise and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law,” Nils Melzer said in a statement published on the UN High Commissioner for Human Right’s website on Friday. “The collective persecution of Julian Assange must end here and now!”

Melzer: Collective persecution must end. (UN Photo)

“The evidence is overwhelming and clear,” Melzer  said. “Mr. Assange has been deliberately exposed, for a period of several years, to progressively severe forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the cumulative effects of which can only be described as psychological torture.”

Melzer went on:

“In the course of the past nine years, Mr. Assange has been exposed to persistent, progressively severe abuse ranging from systematic judicial persecution and arbitrary confinement in the Ecuadorian embassy, to his oppressive isolation, harassment and surveillance inside the embassy, and from deliberate collective ridicule, insults and humiliation, to open instigation of violence and even repeated calls for his assassination.”

Melzer visited Assange at Belmarsh prison in London on May 9 with two doctors, expert in recognizing potential torture victims, who examined the WikiLeaks founder. Melzer’s statement makes no mention of Assange having been hospitalized in the prison after he was unable to converse with his Swedish lawyer.

Melzer said: 

“It was obvious that Mr. Assange’s health has been seriously affected by the extremely hostile and arbitrary environment he has been exposed to for many years. Most importantly, in addition to physical ailments, Mr. Assange showed all symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture, including extreme stress, chronic anxiety and intense psychological trauma.”

Fears Possible Torture in U.S. 

The UN rapporteur said Assange’s human rights could be further threatened with extradition to the United States to face 18 charges, including 17 under the Espionage Act. 

“My most urgent concern is that, in the United States, Mr. Assange would be exposed 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 torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” said Melzer.

He said he was “particularly alarmed” by the Espionage Act charges. “This may well result in a life sentence without parole, or possibly even the death penalty, if further charges were to be added in the future,” said Melzer.

The rapporteur expressed deep concern that the Trump administration is criminalizing journalism.

“Since 2010, when Wikileaks started publishing evidence of war crimes and torture committed by US forces, we have seen a sustained and concerted effort by several States towards getting Mr. Assange extradited to the United States for prosecution, raising serious concern over the criminalisation of investigative journalism in violation of both the US Constitution and international human rights law,” the rapporteur said.

Herald Gets Confidential Report

The Sydney Morning Herald, quoting from the confidential report that Melzer sent to the British government on Monday as well as from an interview with the rapporteur, reported :

“[Assange] is really something I’ve never seen in 20 years,” Melzer said. “I’ve seen atrocities in war areas that were physically more horrible but I’ve never seen a single person pursued so relentlessly and with so little foundation.

“[When I saw him] I immediately compared him to some of the graver cases in interrogation prisons in terms of his psychological reaction patterns. That’s what alarmed me so much.” He said Assange’s treatment was “very close to the intentional, purposeful infliction of coercive measures to try to break him”.

He appeared “extremely agitated and preoccupied,” Melzer said. “He asked a lot of questions and he would jump around, he was so preoccupied with everything he can’t even compute my answers any more.

“There were episodes of this, then he was part of the conversation as normal, then again he would enter into this agitated state. I have seen with other victims of psychological torture that would happen.”

Melzer also blasted the government of Assange’s native Australia. He told the newspaper, “Australia is a glaring absence in this case. They’re just not around, as if Assange was not an Australian citizen. That is not the correct way of dealing with that.”

A spokesperson for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told the Herald: “We reject any suggestion by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture that the Australian Government is complicit in psychological torture or has shown a lack of consular support for Mr Assange.”

Britain’s foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, condemned Melzer for his report. Hunt said it was “wrong” for the UN rapporteur to interfere with British justice by uttering “inflammatory accusations.” 

Melzer replied to Hunt:

 

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston GlobeSunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

 

 

124 comments for “UN Torture Report: ‘Demonized’ Assange Has Faced ‘Psychological Torture’

  1. neysha sima
    June 3, 2019 at 21:06

    Thanks to the Editor Joe Lauria and Consortium News for publishing Prof. Nils Melzer report about Assange.

    We the people want a Global Community of PEACE, RESPECT, and UNITY, STOP the WARS.

    “In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution I have never seen a group of democratic States ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonise and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law,” Nils Melzer said in a statement published on the UN High Commissioner for Human Right’s website on Friday. “The collective persecution of Julian Assange must end here and now!”

    The UN special rapporteur on torture has issued a stinging rebuke to the United States, Great Britain, Sweden and Ecuador for “deliberately” exposing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to years of “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” which can only be described as “psychological torture.”

    “It was obvious that Mr. Assange’s health has been seriously affected by the extremely hostile and arbitrary environment he has been exposed to for many years. Most importantly, in addition to physical ailments, Mr. Assange showed all symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture, including extreme stress, chronic anxiety and intense psychological trauma.”
    source:

    By Joe Lauria
    Special to Consortium News
    https://consortiumnews.com/2019/05/31/un-torture-report-demonized-assange-has-faced-psychological-torture/
    Volume 25, Number 154—Monday, June 3, 2019
    Prof. Nils Melzer is the Human Rights Chair of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. He is also Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow. On 1 November 2016, he took up the function of UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

  2. June 3, 2019 at 18:15

    What Rule of Law are we talking about, if it’s an abuse of power to deprive one of his Rights under the cover of Law, so who’s Law are we talking about. A quote from George Orwell “Threats to Freedom of Speech, writhing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effects and unless checked, will lead to a general disrespect for the Rights of the Citizens”
    The criminals are imprisoning the truth, as if it hides their Repugnant Human Crimes against Humanity

  3. dean 1000
    June 3, 2019 at 13:49

    Julian Assange has defamed some people who work for the US government. They richly deserved it and continue to deserve it as their actions were criminal, or covered up criminal acts.

    The intent of the statute and indictment that charge Assange is the same intent of the old seditious libel laws. The truth is on trial by another name. The statute does not authorize the mistreatment and psychological torture Assange has suffered, as the UN Special Rapporteur, Mr. Nils Melzer, so ably and courageously pointed out. Mr Melzer is the only person in an official capacity who has not jumped on Julian Assange with both feet. He is a credit to his profession. The friends of truth and lawful government thank Mr Melzer.

    This elaborate, expensive, three branch government purporting to have checks and balances is in failure mode. We can say for sure it has not only not worked for Julian Assange. It has a heavy bias against him. A bias that is unlawful and unconstitutional.

    Mr Assange is in jail for jumping bail. He fled to the embassy to avoid being snatched and tortured at an infamous Black Site. He fled to preserve his identify, memory and personality. It was self defense. Everyone knows it.
    I don’t know the first thing about British law (Very little about US law). I do know Assange is one of the people who is supposed to enjoy the protections of chapter 39 of the Magna Carta of 1215.
    Surely there is contemporary British legislation more solicitous of human rights than chapter 39. Nevertheless Assange finds himself in the Belmarsh dungeon in London. Prison is always a dungeon for the innocent.

    Assange should be released from prison not only to help his lawyers prepare a defense but to assure the world that he is not being tortured and that Dr. Frankenstein is not putting chemical junk into his veins.

    Even if a venue change is granted, Assange can’t get a fair trial in the US. The jury trial (constitutionality required) is supposed to take punishment (quilt or innocence) out of the hands of the government. Instead of being reminded of their constitutional duty to justice and to mercy, juries are told they must uphold the law. Negating the purpose of the jury. A child molester or serial murderer gets his constitutional rights in the US. Julian Assange will not get those constitutional rights necessary for him to have a fair trial.

  4. Laura
    June 3, 2019 at 11:51

    I believe he was being charged with rape not journalism. He should have faced the music if he thought he falsely accused and let the courts decide.

    • Jill
      June 3, 2019 at 12:22

      Hi Laura,

      Assange has been charged by the US with violating the US espionage act for publishing evidence of US war crimes in Iraq (where, just one example, there is a video showing US soldiers deliberately killing civilians to include journalists) and Afghanistan.

    • Litchfield
      June 3, 2019 at 12:28

      Laura:
      endlessly repeating a lie, or a purposeful distortion, does not make it any truer.
      Jonathan Cook has completely destructed the “rape” charges lie, and the way some Swedish officials have used a very flimsy charge to attack Assange—on behalf of the USA, it appears.

      Educate yourself before you embarrass yourself even more.

      Here is an excellent overview put together by Jonathan Cook:

      http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51675.htm
      Abuses show Assange case was never about law

    • June 3, 2019 at 13:51

      Thank you for this clear summation of the Assange situation. Now if we could only get people to read it and use their critical thinking skills, perhaps this miscarriage of justice could be stopped in its tracks.

    • June 3, 2019 at 12:30

      He was never charged with rape. He was set up to be demonized and persecuted for having the audacity to tell the truth about the crimes of the ruling class. You would do well to do some research and be grateful he has the courage of the very few.

    • bob
      June 3, 2019 at 12:31

      how many more times does it need repeating – Assange has NEVER been charged with anything
      You should be charged with being ‘simple’!!!

  5. June 3, 2019 at 10:24

    Thanks Joe Blessings

  6. John Hawk
    June 3, 2019 at 10:21

    Remember, there is a deadman’s switch still operational…time for Wikileaks to use it and reveal everything. TPTB and the MSM have all been bought, entrapped, and extorted: they DO NOT give a rat’s ass about us.

  7. DW Bartoo
    June 3, 2019 at 10:18

    One of the most odious aspects of the World War I era Espionage Act, the essential purpose of which was to quash dissent, is that it prohibits “public interest” as a defense.

    It well ought be done away with as it is a glaring example of the use of “the form” of law to destroy the rule of law, a pattern all to evident in the U$ since the end of Wirld War II.

    As this article meticulously documents, Julian Assange has been relentlessly demonized by the U$ elites, be they of the political class, of the Military/Industrial/Congressional Complex (to give it the name Eisenhower originally put to it), of the “intelligence community”, of the MSM, or of a mostly silent, and thereby complicit, academia.

    It should be noted, as well, that the U.K. has been fully complicit in this endeavor with precisely the same actors staging the very same hostility and disrespect for a functioning rule of law.

    As well, both Sweden and Ecuador deserve to take a bow for bending, as well, to the dismantlement of the of the rule of law, domestically, in the Fab Four and internationally.

    One cannot help but wonder if the UN, which body Nils Melzer represents, might bestir themselves from their, apparently, complacent lethargy to mount some kind of international resistance to the travesty of “justice” so tragically playing out on the world stage of which they claim to be a part, as opposed to apart from.

    This is not likely a situation that one should await with with bated or suspended breath.

    It is most heartening to see the outpouring of support for Assange, and Chelsea Manning and others, that the comments here reflect.

    It is in most welcome contrast to the smug assumption articulated by far too many U$ians that, if they take what CNN and MSNBC say and “balance it” with what Fox says, they will have a usable sense of reality and what is actually going on.

    Frankly, we teeter not merely on the edge of losing meaningful free speech protections for everyone, but also on the precipitous slope of the rule of law becoming as extinct as it was not too terribly long ago in Germany – as the Nuremberg trials went to some serious length to make known.

    How quickly and easily all that was forgotten when the hegemon which emerged, essentially unchallenged and effectively unchallengeable, determined that no law applied to it, which could not be changed into a bludgeon or simply ignored whenever it suited the manifest destiny of that nation and society to rule, dominate, and terrorize the rest of the nation’s if the world as it saw fit and profitable.

    Should Assange be dragged to the U$, he will either suffer the public “show trial” which Melzer foresees, or be tried in secret with the results to be ballyhooed as democracy and justice triumphant by an elite already run quite disastrously amuck, while those who do the most harm continue to be championed, laviously rewarded, and virtually deified or, at least resurrected, as has been George W. Bush, as a “good guy” ya might even wanna have a beer with.

    Can Dick Cheney be polished up sufficiently well that nostalgia will come to miss him?

    Will Julian Assange discover that we have all washed our hands of him?

    Which is not to elevate Assange as an icon, but assuage our own, collective, indifference and permit the post Smith-Mundt Act U$ government to propagandize, through overt and covert means, a public make somnolent through the repetition of fallacious gossip and cunning fear-mongering which will rouse that public merely to knee-jerk response?

    Time, whatever we have left of it, will tell.

    And time flies, unless it merely drags on with more of the same …

  8. June 3, 2019 at 06:45

    Jeremy Hunt, et al, is probably enjoying himself. And I’m talking about all of the evil he does and supports as well as the rebuke from Mils Melzer. It’s called perversity. Those who self-modify become perverted.

  9. Taras77
    June 2, 2019 at 19:54

    Hunt is rapidly becoming the thug of the day, undoubtedly with support from the extreme fascists in the UK govt/parties and US govt/parties:

    https://sputniknews.com/world/201906021075559831-jeremy-hunt-assange-us-extradition/

    • geeyp
      June 3, 2019 at 03:12

      Hunt is just the type of airhead that could pass muster and slither into the prime minister role. He seems to fit in with every one since, and including, war criminal “Howdy Doody” Tony who is just like the US’s “What, me worry?” W.

  10. hetro
    June 2, 2019 at 15:47

    One of the best current analyses, from Jonathan Cook, emphasizes a key factor in the demonizing of Assange as “herd think” (mobbing in the above article), which is vital to propaganda smear and hysterical over-reach.

    In this sense, I think the Swedish “rape” case is less significant than the “Russain-tool” smear, as pushed by Rachel Maddow. As to what happened in Sweden the key term “consensual” is a major consideration, since that word has been used to characterize the relationships. Being “raped” while dozing probably won’t hold up in court, perhaps why AW (second female involved) refused to go along with the term.

    More important is the contrivance engineered against Assange from well back to 2008 (into which the recent Russia-smear business has added significantly)–as indicated in the following excerpt, where Cook quotes Pilger from 2018:

    “Back in 2017, when the rest of the media were still pretending this was all about Assange fleeing Swedish “justice”, John Pilger noted:

    “In 2008, a secret Pentagon document prepared by the “Cyber Counterintelligence Assessments Branch” foretold a detailed plan to discredit WikiLeaks and smear Assange personally. The “mission” was to destroy the “trust” that was WikiLeaks’ “centre of gravity”. This would be achieved with threats of “exposure [and] criminal prosecution”. Silencing and criminalising such an unpredictable source of truth-telling was the aim.” …
    According to Australian diplomatic cables, Washington’s bid to get Assange is “unprecedented in scale and nature”. …

    “The US Justice Department has contrived charges of “espionage”, “conspiracy to commit espionage”, “conversion” (theft of government property), “computer fraud and abuse” (computer hacking) and general “conspiracy”. The favoured Espionage Act, which was meant to deter pacifists and conscientious objectors during World War One, has provisions for life imprisonment and the death penalty. …

    “In 2015, a federal court in Washington blocked the release of all information about the “national security” investigation against WikiLeaks, because it was “active and ongoing” and would harm the “pending prosecution” of Assange. The judge, Barbara J. Rothstein, said it was necessary to show “appropriate deference to the executive in matters of national security”. This is a kangaroo court.”

    https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2019-05-27/abuses-show-assange-case-was-never-about-law/

  11. June 2, 2019 at 15:35

    A few random thoughts on the matters at hand.

    The birthplace of the Magna Carta has gone to sleep.

    Lindsay Graham has come up with his one and only good idea, to wit, pardoning Assange in exchange for his full and truthful
    testimony before the House and Senate committees. Or, did I misread something?

    Mueller avoided Assange like the plague. Can anyone tell me why he didn’t depose Assange, who was at the center of everything?

    What is the English law on venue? If what the US has done greatly departs from it, that may create grounds for denying extradition. Specifically, the US has indicted Assange multiple times in the Northern District of Virginia, which has no connection to the crimes alleged against Assange. The prosecutors chose that forum to avoid the diverse DC juries and to assure that any jury verdict is passed in the venue overrun with intelligence and military contractors and employees. I think that choice of forum defies minimum standards of due process of law, and that the English authorities ought to consider this deviation before agreeing to extradite him.

    Kenneth Starr did the same thing in many of his Lewinski prosecutions. He knew he’d get laughed out of any DC court. Good old Virginia. General Lee’s old Homestead, just right across the river.

  12. June 2, 2019 at 15:11

    How can we band together, globally, to DEMAND that Julian Assange be treated fairly & honestly UNDER
    THE LAW?

    • James
      June 3, 2019 at 10:01

      This is a good question

  13. Willow
    June 2, 2019 at 14:52

    Obama made fake news legal in 2012. Michael Hastings blew the whistle. He’s dead now. NDAA repeal of smith-mundt propaganda ban
    “The new law would give sweeping powers to the government to push television, radio, newspaper, and social media onto the U.S. public. “It removes the protection for Americans,” says a Pentagon official who is concerned about the law. “It removes oversight from the people who want to put out this information. There are no checks and balances. No one knows if the information is accurate, partially accurate, or entirely false.”
    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/mhastings/congressmen-seek-to-lift-propaganda-ban

    • geeyp
      June 3, 2019 at 03:16

      Yes, Michael Hastings is dead while his murderer pontificates on network news. This guy is so ignorant that he thinks we don’t know.

  14. Taras77
    June 2, 2019 at 11:47

    I am not sure this article adds to what has been described above but here it is with additional comments from craig murray that the UK has become a rogue state (I would include the us in that category):

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-01/exposing-lawlessness-assanges-slow-assassination?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+zerohedge%2Ffeed+%28zero+hedge+-+on+a+long+enough+timeline%2C+the+survival+rate+for+everyone+drops+to+zero%29

  15. Lin Cleveland
    June 2, 2019 at 10:07

    The United States’ government conducts these horrors to protect its self-designed reputation as the exceptional “good guy.” Yet the overwhelming majority of nations on earth are not fooled! Sad to say, but U.S. citizens keep their blinders firmly in place. I guess no one wants to see himself as the bad guy.

    Thank You, Consortium News and a few others for your vigilance!

  16. Jill
    June 2, 2019 at 10:06

    One of the best strategies we have to combat the bizarre/illegal behavior of the powerful is mocking them. “Before laughter, even the Bishops quake.”

    Jeremy Hunt gave an astounding presentation regarding press freedom recently. What statements like his need is audience members to start laughing. He needs to be thoroughly mocked.

    We see again and again that bizarre statements are made about freedom, democracy, rights, etc. by the very people who are destroying each of these things in the world. The people who say these crazy things take solace from accurate, intellectual criticism of their statements. It would appear that rationality and logic only strengthens their resolve to continue.

    However, there is one thing they are not used to confronting– that is a good mocking! Laughing at the utter absurdity of their statements strikes at their authority. They aren’t prepared for it. These are arrogant power mongers who do not think anyone would dare mock them. I say, let the full on mocking begin!

    • geeyp
      June 3, 2019 at 03:18

      Yes, Jill, show them that we see right through them!

  17. bob
    June 2, 2019 at 09:48

    There will be no JUSTICE …. just ice

  18. June 2, 2019 at 07:36

    How much pressure can the UN bring to bear on the Countries involved?! A rapport is easily justified out of the picture with some legal boogie woogie. Put the Australians to shame BIG TIME for not giving a hoot for one of their own being persecuted unjustly by foreign entities.

  19. Abe
    June 1, 2019 at 18:16

    “With the demise of the ‘hacking not publishing indictment’ argument, the Swedish sex allegation is going to become the prominent tool for misdirecting us from that task over the next few months, as Julian Assange’s fate is settled in Britain. It is a ruse and a diversion whose purpose is to support Assange’s extradition to the US by ignoring it. This can be proved by raising the obvious and legally valid demand that any extradition to Sweden be conditioned on no onward extradition to the US, and watching the reaction from those who claim to be so concerned about resolving the sex allegation. Those who are speaking in good faith will accept that position immediately. Those who are liars and hypocrites, and are basically chill with Assange being extradited to the United States, will hem and haw and try to ignore. Don’t let them.

    “Those who actually do oppose extradition to the US cannot let that diversion stand unchallenged. Everyone – from the Guardian to Jeremy Corbyn – who demands Assange be extradited to Sweden must be challenged to also demand forbidding onward extradition to the United States. The defense of freedom the press and the just resolution of any investigation into a sexual allegation demand it.”

    Swedish Sex Pistol Aimed at Assange
    By Jim Kavanagh
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/31/swedish-sex-pistol-aimed-at-assange/

  20. Abe
    June 1, 2019 at 17:57

    “Assange did not seek sanctuary in the embassy to evade the Swedish investigation. No state in the world gives a non-citizen political asylum to avoid a rape trial. The asylum was granted on political grounds. Ecuador rightly accepted Assange’s concerns that the US would seek his extradition and lock him out of sight for the rest of his life.

    “Assange, of course, has been proven – yet again – decisively right by recent developments.

    “Trapped in herd-think

    “The fact that so many ordinary people keep making these basic errors has a very obvious explanation. It is because the corporate media keep making these errors.

    These are is not the kind of mistakes that can be explained away as an example of what one journalist has termed the problem of ‘churnalism’: the fact that journalists, chasing breaking news in offices depleted of staff by budget cuts, are too overworked to cover stories properly.

    “British journalists have had many years to get the facts straight. In an era of social media, journalists at the Guardian and the BBC have been bombarded by readers and activists with messages telling them how they are getting basic facts wrong in the Assange case. But the journalists keep doing it anyway. They are trapped in a herd-think entirely divorced from reality.

    “Rather than listen to experts, or common sense, these ‘journalists’ keep regurgitating the talking points of the British security state, which are as good as identical to the talking points of the US security state.

    “What is so striking in the Assange coverage is the sheer number of legal anomalies in his case – and these have been accumulating relentlessly from the very start. Almost nothing in his case has gone according to the normal rules of legal procedure. And yet that very revealing fact is never noticed or commented on by the corporate media. You need to have a blind spot the size of Langley, Virginia, not to notice it.

    “If Assange wasn’t the head of Wikileaks, if he hadn’t embarrassed the most important western states and their leaders by divulging their secrets and crimes, if he hadn’t created a platform that allows whistleblowers to reveal the outrages committed by the western power establishment, if he hadn’t undermined that establishment’s control over information dissemination, none of the last 10 years would have followed the course it did.”

    Endless Procedural Abuses Show Julian Assange Case Was Never About Law
    By Jonathan Cook
    https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/31/endless-procedural-abuses-show-julian-assange-case-was-never-about-law/

    • Marko
      June 2, 2019 at 00:45

      “The fact that so many ordinary people keep making these basic errors has a very obvious explanation. It is because the corporate media keep making these errors.”

      As made clear in the article , these are not in fact “errors” made by the MSM. It’s them doing their job with proficiency. Any attempts to paper over MSM failures as simply mistakes should be disregarded by thinking people. Similarly , efforts to describe US Middle-East policy as being a product of incompetent bumbling , espoused by Larry Wilkerson and others ( often on these pages ) , should also be disregarded.

      When a plan is being executed , we need to be able to recognize it to respond to it. That will never happen if we keep excusing it as simply incompetence or errors. When the people fully recognize that the excuses are actually part of the plan , that will be the “error” that bites the Deep State in the ass.

    • Skip Scott
      June 2, 2019 at 07:20

      I agree completely Marko. These are not mistakes, they are by design. The MSM has been completely taken over by the forces of Empire. The “weapons on mass destruction” lie was allowed to be sold as a “mistake” to the sheeple, and “W” even chuckled about it. Obomber’s not prosecuting the “W” administration for these crimes made certain that the next charade (Gadaffi feeds his soldiers Viagra to make them better rapists) would go unchallenged as well.

      People need to stop feeding the beast by severing all contact with these purveyors of state sponsored propaganda.

    • Lin Cleveland
      June 2, 2019 at 10:14

      “People need to stop feeding the beast by severing all contact with these purveyors of state sponsored propaganda.”–Skip Scott.

      Yes! Yes! Yes!

    • Abe
      June 2, 2019 at 12:02

      “If this were a dissident publisher in Russia, what would the UK political and media class be saying about his being dragged out by armed police, and convicted and sentenced to jail by a judge without a jury, just three hours later, after a farce of a “trial” in which the judge insulted him and called him a “narcissist” before he had said anything in his defence? The Western media would be up in arms if that happened in Russia. Here, they cheer it on.”

      The Unrelenting State
      By Craig Murray
      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/05/the-unrelenting-state/

    • Jill
      June 2, 2019 at 12:03

      Beautifully stated Marko and very important to point this out!

  21. mike k
    June 1, 2019 at 15:43

    Torture is a stock in trade method for the Empire. It has always been thus. Jesus and many others will testify to that.

  22. David G
    June 1, 2019 at 14:15

    I just used the expression “glass half full or half empty” in a previous comment with respect to media coverage, but it is also sticking in my head as to Nils Melzer himself.

    Here is a capsule bio of Melzer by Craig Murray today:

    “Professor Melzer is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture. Professor Melzer is Swiss. He is an extremely distinguished lawyer and Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow in addition to Professor of International Humanitarian Law at the Geneva Academy. He served 12 years as a Red Cross Delegate. There is no doubting either Professor Melzer’s expertise or his independence in this matter.” https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/06/jeremy-hunt-works-that-rogue-state-status/

    So here is an incredibly distinguished scholar of the precisely relevant legal areas, resident in the U.K., who, by his own admission, was until very recently completely snowed by the monolithic state-corporate media hit job on Julian Assange.

    When specifically invited to make an independent evaluation of the case through official U.N. channels, he put the work in to learn what has really been going on, and the scales fell from his eyes.

    So we can see there are people out there, even some fairly important people, who can be brought out of the media miasma by exposure to the facts.

    On the other hand, if the propaganda was so effective on someone with Melzer’s credentials, what are the chances Assange’s advocates can make significant headway in public opinion?

    So, glass half full or half empty?

    • Marko
      June 2, 2019 at 00:18

      “So here is an incredibly distinguished scholar of the precisely relevant legal areas, resident in the U.K., who, by his own admission, was until very recently completely snowed by the monolithic state-corporate media hit job on Julian Assange…..So, glass half full or half empty? ”

      I find the fact that an intelligent , decent man like Melzer could still be snowed by the MSM this late in the game profoundly depressing. So , put me down for : 99% empty.

  23. Tom
    June 1, 2019 at 13:08

    Word is chemical Jill had him dosed with lsd-like drugs from hell created by demons.

  24. Tristan
    June 1, 2019 at 12:27

    Thank you for this report. Also one must thank Mezler for his forthright honesty concerning this atrocity.

  25. David G
    June 1, 2019 at 11:29

    Page A9 in today’s NY Times. Glass half full or half empty?

    • Rob
      June 1, 2019 at 15:02

      I only read the Times online, so I could not surmise how deep in the print edition this story was buried. But no one should be surprised that the Times and other media tools of the Empire would seek to minimize reporting on the inhumane treatment of a man that they have demonized for years.

  26. Em Sos
    June 1, 2019 at 10:02

    The issue is: why is a so-called informed public still permitting itself to be hoodwinked?
    In psychological terminology wouldn’t this equate to self-abusive behavior.
    We carry on in the world, living in a state of constant cognitive dissonance, merely so that we are able to minimally function, incapable of recognizing the torturers for who, and what they really are.
    Even with the knowledge of the facts; what we’ve witnessed unfolding, for the past 9 years, as the UN Rapporteur, Mr. Nils Melzer, conclusively re-iterates. What actual effect are these observations going to have on people who will not see?
    What changes of affect will it produce in their conscious minds, when they’ve already been so assiduously programmed, and thereby, immunized against their own critical thinking, through generations – blindly obeying this improp(a)ganda?
    Julian Assange’s are the caliber of ‘human being’ that are the radical catalysts necessary to bring about the changes required systemically.
    What we are witnessing currently is the systems idea of just retribution against a true leader. They will stop at NOTHING to prevent these changes from bearing fruit.
    Ipso Facto, we are where we are!
    Politically, we’ve been doing the same thing over and over, seemingly since time immemorial, expecting a different result from what we have now,
    What does this say of us and our present ‘civilized’ State???

    • robjira
      June 1, 2019 at 18:12

      As Mark Twain once said (paraphrased), “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them they’ve been fooled.”

  27. bozhidar balkas
    June 1, 2019 at 07:00

    Ethnic [Jewish] and national supremacism [that of US mostly] had done it to Assad, Saddam, Assange, Gadhafi, Yanukovych, and me.
    But do not fret about my moods. I am happy to be called an anti-semite and an anti-american govts.

  28. June 1, 2019 at 05:49

    true. and worse. i am whom they speak of “the victim.” they will never stop. it is nearly all nearly everyone. 4:1 alone. surrounded by enemy. who is sealed? abandonment rampant. gave up on not sealed. thx for support love rich chs 82 fdr jenn army media on base only cl army itp six 215 protest

  29. Marko
    June 1, 2019 at 05:08

    John Bolton’s next conversation with Mr. Melzer : ” Fix this. We know where your kids live.”

  30. Zhu
    June 1, 2019 at 03:25

    A lot of Dems are supporters of a team and can’t tolerate losing the pennant. They want to blame scapegoats, like Assange. It’s not very different from Republican Birther tantrums when Obama was elected.

    • Abby
      June 1, 2019 at 22:13

      Bingo. Just because Hillary lost the election it seems that her supporters have lost their minds and reasoning skills. Her supporters blame Comey for her loss instead of blaming her for using her private email server in the first place. No one made her make that decision. They also blame the NYC FBI office for telling Comey that they found a lot of her emails on Weiner’s laptop instead of putting it on Hillary’s assistant Huma Abedin for putting them there. And they blame people who didn’t vote for her as if everyone owed her their vote. And this is how they can put the blame on Wikileaks and Assange for exposing how the primary was rigged.

  31. John Gilberts
    May 31, 2019 at 23:38

    The observations by the UN Rapporteur will come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to Consortium News, WSWS , WikiLeaks, RT and other alternative media sources. Bravo for keeping the flame alive. That Western liberals as evidenced most notably by Russiagate, as well as the Assange smear and disinformation campaign at item here, can be persuaded to give their consent once again to the perpetration of atrocities against a political prisoner in the center of London, is truly terrifying. These befuddled know-nothings need to give their heads a shake and stop legitimizing Voltaire’s observation that ‘Of one thing only can we be sure – we shall remain stupid.’ Free Assange! Free Manning! Stop believing the lying liars of the state.

    • Lily
      June 2, 2019 at 03:49

      If the flame hadn’t been kept alive for so long and if Assange hadn’t endured all these years in the embassy he would have disappeared in the US prison system long ago and most likely been forgotten by too many.
      Lies would prevail and atrocities kept hidden.

      Now more and more people get to know the truth. Thanks to each flame keeper, thanks to Nils Melzer and thank you Julien Assange! There is hope.

      #free Julien Assange!

    • AlAhmed
      June 2, 2019 at 05:10

      Just imagine if we started seeing these everywhere:

      https://craignelsen.com/img/misc/free_assange.JPG

      People would be like, gee, I’m not the only one who sees through the MSM propaganda. Even some of my neighbors see through it.

      That can have a very powerful impact.

  32. anon4d2
    May 31, 2019 at 22:01

    Excellent report by Joe Lauria on the courageous stand of Mr. Melzer of UNHCR.
    The US oligarchy is racking up many citations to be read upon their inevitable violent demise.
    When we see gangs taking out mass media facilities and gated communities, we will see democracy again.
    If that is a century after Assange, he will have been elevated to sainthood, and they to the ditches.
    The US desperately needs an underground of courageous self-reliant patriotic militants.
    Those who do not have the courage must at least encourage militant reformers.
    Chat does not do the job: Without them we will never again know democracy.

  33. Deo
    May 31, 2019 at 20:54

    Illuminati Card?

  34. Fran Macadam
    May 31, 2019 at 20:24

    Our nations, instead of representing the will of their peoples, rather seem to be the playthings of the wicked elites who rule them.

  35. Howardb4
    May 31, 2019 at 18:34

    In the USA, the so called rule of law governing the country no longer exists. Here in the USA, up is down, in is out, good is bad and so much more. Trump and his right wing storm troopers have literally destroyed any honest format of governing. Integrity, morality, high minded principled behavior by government has vanished. “No one is above the law” is a joke here.

    • Zhu
      June 1, 2019 at 03:30

      It began long before Trump

    • AnneR
      June 1, 2019 at 09:45

      It did indeed, Zhu. The only difference that I can see is that the Strumpet and his admin don’t have the smooth patina, the shiny gloss that all previous Admins and Prezzies had.

      There is no “honest” governance, if by that is meant really abiding by international laws (ho ho – *we* tell other countries to do that even as we trash such law right, left and center), transparent political, military and intelligence action, truly representing the electorate rather than the corporate-capitalist-imperialist elites and foreign lobbyists from the ME.

      But given how little attention to and acceptance of UN reports, rulings and decisions the US, UK, Israel and the rest of the west give, and how little (as in None) the MSM report on Melzer’s findings – I do not hold out much hope for Mr Assange. For real justice to be given him.

    • Abby
      June 1, 2019 at 22:20

      Trump just took the mask off this country’s actions. Obama did most of the things that Trump is doing now, but no one paid attention to them because he baffled them with his supposed charm.

      I read how the DHS is packing up to 900 immigrants in rooms only meant to hold 125 and someone posted an article about how a judge wants to hold someone accountable for it but the administration is fighting her order. Guess what? It was the Obama administration that was doing it not Trump’s.

      Remember that photo of kids in a cage that was sent across the internet after people found out that Trump was caging people? It was taken during Obama’s tenure…
      But people are thinking that history just started when Trump became president. Go figure.

    • Tim Jones
      June 2, 2019 at 04:13

      Yes, Trump is the logical outcome of previous infringements of freedom.

    • AlAhmed
      June 2, 2019 at 05:12

      “Trump and his right wing storm troopers have literally destroyed any honest format of governing.”

      by way of illustrating your point, I presume?

  36. rosemerry
    May 31, 2019 at 17:56

    Jeremy Hunt is a terrible “foreign secretary”, as bad as BoJo, completely biased against Russia and of course outspoken in his offensive lying about Julian Assnge.

  37. Andrew Thomas
    May 31, 2019 at 17:05

    Journalism has already been criminalized by these actions, and those against Manning, Kiriakou et al. Those who work in the corporate media are engaged in an elaborate masquerade. The UN is engaged in a similar masquerade. It pretends that it continues to have meaning. The only consequences that will emanate from this honest report will be for Mr. Melzer. They will be unpleasant, to say the least, and he knows it. Bravo to him for his courage, and to Mr. Assange and Wikileaks.

    • Martin - Swedish citizen
      June 1, 2019 at 13:26

      Mr Melzer’s report would not cause the same alarm were he not the UN official he is. Apparently, the UN still has meaning. Its meaning depends on the importance we give to it, and in that context, with the explicit lack of regard for it from the US and other western nations and pundits, its importance may be diminishing .

      Still, the more we hold it in regard, pay attention to it, its importance grows. It is as important as we make it.

      Sadly, not a word about the report on Swedish state tv.

    • Josep
      June 1, 2019 at 18:18

      It seems to me that American pundits, especially the ones who lean neocon, tend to denounce the UN as “globalist” when it doesn’t cave into American interests, but have no problem in forcing American standards onto other UN members. Similar situation in Britain. Hypocrisy so thick you can cut it with a knife.

      About a year ago the UN voted on a resolution deciding whether or not to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move America’s embassy there. Not surprisingly the US voted for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, while a majority of other countries (e.g. the UK) voted against, and some (e.g. Canada and the Czech Republic) abstained. This led to pundits like Nikki Haley to decide cutting off aid to countries that “hate [the US]”, to say nothing of accusations of anti-Americanism, antisemitism, or treason/perfidy. It’s as if hell will freeze over when they realize that other countries are sick and tired of America’s heavy-handed bullying.

      During the 1970s, president Jimmy Carter attempted to convert the United States to the metric system. However, it was met with resistance from a faction of Americans who denounced Carter for not believing in American Exceptionalism. America’s continued refusal to adopt the metric system, follow soccer, or employ universal healthcare are symptoms of its arrogance.

    • Tim Jones
      June 2, 2019 at 04:22

      Witness the astounding power of the Deep State and the compliance to it by most authority. I sense, though, that the tides are are changing for our Monolithic Deep State and its vassals.

  38. May 31, 2019 at 16:45

    Jeremy Hunt participated in the UK’s Skripal / Porton Downs lies, so it’s clear what master he serves. As to whether Julian Assange has been forced to take psychotropic drugs, I would believe it. I am glad Nils Melzer made this statement; without it the global deep state continues its evil deeds unimpeded. Thanks to CN for publishing it. Zero Hedge also published Prof. Melzer’s report tonight.

  39. May 31, 2019 at 15:53

    Torture is torture, whether it’s physical or psychological, and is banned under both domestic and International law. Julian Assange – co-founder of Wikileaks – is being psychologically tortured in a British prison. The British govt knows exactly what’s going on and must answer for its violation of British and International law. Period.
    The 4th Geneva Convention is quite clear when it comes to abusing prisoners – especially those who either haven’t been convicted of any crime or were wrongly convicted in a kangaroo court, as in the case of Assange. The Geneva Convention also bans the illegitimate extradition to a country (the US) wherein both physical and psychological torture’s the norm in prisons. It also bans extradition to a country (in this case, the US) wherein the death penalty exists.
    There’s only one remedy for Assange – that is – release him and allow him to return to Australia, his birth nation.

    • AnneR
      June 1, 2019 at 09:52

      Eileen Kuch, all that you write is true, but if past precedent is anything to go by (including the very recent past – i.e. UK: the Chagos Islanders; US: Black sites, rendition, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, pardoning criminal military killers, illegal invasions and on and on), nothing that the UN says or tries to do will make any difference to what the UK-US inflict upon poor Mr Assange.

      The empire must be allowed to continue to do as it wants where it wants in any manner it wants without having to answer to anyone.

  40. Taras77
    May 31, 2019 at 15:27

    I have long since decided in despair that there is no level too low for our “democratic” powers to sink-torture of Assange indicates that the UK and the US are still probing for the bottom for ultimate immorality and lack of human decency. The tweet from Hunt indicates that they are not even trying any more to present a facade of human decency.

  41. hetro
    May 31, 2019 at 14:48

    “Although Assange is not held in solitary confinement, the Special Rapporteur said he is gravely concerned that the limited frequency and duration of lawyers’ visits and his lack of access to case files and documents make it impossible for him to adequately prepare his defence in any of the complex legal proceedings piling up against him.”

    I take the “he” of “he is gravely concerned” to apply to Assange himself, above in this report from Melzer (as linked). This at least is encouraging that, from views we’ve been hearing recently that Assange was unable to talk, to Melzer’s views of his speaking with great anxiety and difficulty concentrating, we can assume he is indeed still reasoning and functioning. He will not go easily.

    Thank you to all commenters for making very clear their disgust and fury over this medieval lynching of Assange.

    • June 1, 2019 at 22:02

      I do not recall “lynching” in Middle Ages, although here and there there were massacres. Actually, it is a relatively modern “institution”. And in 18-th century Europe would still see events inspiring the phrase on unconstitutionality of “cruel and unusual punishment”, see Wikipedia how and why Johann Reinhold Patkul, the last Livonian patriot, was executed.

    • hetro
      June 2, 2019 at 14:31

      I’m a little surprised you took my metaphor so seriously, Piotr. I was trying to get at mob behavior murdering someone without due process, which it seems to me this action with Assange is close to, although of course faked at as “justice.” Possibly Joan of Arc’s burning at the stake is closer as an official act of cruelty with bestial emotions engaged. The word “lynch” apparently comes from an American named Lynch engaged in these matters around 1820.

      My post is more seriously confusing, it seems to me, by raising doubt on Assange’s current mental condition. It should be pointed out Melzer’s examination was May 9 and reports of Assange unable to converse have been much more recent. That no one has pointed this out indicates to me we really don’t know what Assange’s current condition is, and whether he’s improving or worsening. I hope for the better.

    • Litchfield
      June 3, 2019 at 12:55

      “the Special Rapporteur said he is gravely concerned that the limited frequency and duration of lawyers’ visits and his lack of access to case files and documents make it impossible for him to adequately prepare his defence in any of the complex legal proceedings piling up against him.”

      I think “he” here refers to Melzer, not to Assange.
      Melzer is “gravely concerned.”

  42. Jill
    May 31, 2019 at 13:20

    First I want to both commend and thank Mr. Melzer for speaking truth to power. I do not consider his actions to be without risk to him in the current environment. They are an act of courage.

    I would now like to see if there is any reporter who will actually question jeremy hunt, making him support the statements he is making. I want to know if there is a real reporter who will question the AU govt. when it says it has been working on Assange’s behalf. I want to hear both parties provide the evidence of their claims..

    I want Trump supporters to write the WH and ask him to be accountable for his actions. I want a US reporter to force Trump to answer questions such as how Assange can commit treason, why he complains of the press, yet is willing to imprison and likely kill Assange etc. I want him to explain himself.

    I want Ecuadorian journalists to ask Moreno why he has violated the rights of one of their own citizens and a legitimate aslyee. I want to know if Moreno feels he may do anything he wants to any citizen of his nation.

    I would like the UK and Sweden to explain why they have been actively subverting their own laws. Who, if anyone is asking them to do that? If no one is asking, why are they doing it on their own. If someone is asking, why have they decided to go along with it?

    I want clear questions and I want these people to be forced into giving clear answers by real reporters who want to get at what is going on here.

    All of us will rue what is happening in our respective nations. These nations are out of control. They work hand in glove w/other equally rogue nations such as Israel and Saudi Arabia to suppress dissent, even basic knowledge of what they are doing. We are in dire trouble here.

    Finally, I am deeply sorry for Assange and all the other people the US has had tortured (Gitmo and other black sites for example). I look at my nation with shock and horror. I know that the US has done many terrible things as a nation, but we did used to be better. What we have become now is completely evil. This nation is unrecognizable to me any longer.

    • Taras77
      May 31, 2019 at 15:37

      Well said, Jill!

      Shock and horror (and total disbelief) has been my reaction now for years at the crimes committed by “my” govt in “my” name.

      GITMO: I recently read an article by Matt Tiabbi in which he linked to a report of an inmate at GITMO forced to seek reconstructive surgery to address excessive and constant bleeding of internal organs because of the effects of torture on a part of his body. (I will not go into the details here as this is a responsible and mature audience)

    • Zhu
      June 1, 2019 at 04:02

      Many of us Americans likevto think “it can’t happen to me! Bad things only happen to bad people!” But all the horrid things we’ve done to others abroad will come home to bite us.

  43. Jeff Harrison
    May 31, 2019 at 12:22

    The empire has been exposed. The real question is will the rest of the world stand up to the empire? The vassal states of the EU, former colonial powers themselves, have no honor or shame. Who will help those countries being oppressed by the US? They can’t do it alone but in concert they certainly could defy the US. It’s the only hope the world has.

    • Lily
      May 31, 2019 at 23:03

      Jeff, that was my only hope as well, but i fear we are hoping in vain!

      There have never been politicians in Europe who are so unbelievingly servile, shameless and without any opinion of their own as far as the US strategies are concerned.

      There is Theresa May inventing lies about the Scripals to abide to the US Russiaphopia and at the same time to distract from one of the biggest intitutionalized (Nottingham) child abuse skandals in her country, which reached into the highest realms of society.

      There is Angela Merkel who after years of a consistently reliable gas trade with Russia is now changing her mind about North Stream 2 and submitting to buying the filthy, polluting US fracking gas which has to be transportet oversees and will be much more expensive and very bad for the envirement. Apart from that she seems to be willing to prepare her country for a war against the russian people, although in 2007 Wladimir Putin spoke in the Bundestag suggesting a peaceful trade union between Russia and Germany and he has suggested this twice again since then.

      After Olof Palme was murdered the Swedish government has become one of the worst of the Europeans vassals.
      The only positive movement are the Yellow Vests in France but rhey have been stamped down by President Macron.

      I can not see anything hopeful on this side. It is all very sad.

  44. Dump Pelousy
    May 31, 2019 at 12:21

    These are the times when I wish the UN had a police force that could carry out humanitarian missions recusing individuals fighting the facist states. But the facist states are the “liberal democracies” that claim to have a corner on humanitarian principles. The only good thing T-rump has done for us is show that the Emperors have no principles and that they will combine with each other and the MSM to destroy anyone who goes against their war machine. And that a good (bad) part of the Left will join them. Wonder what they’ll try to do to Nils now. I pray for Julian and him.

  45. Skeptigal
    May 31, 2019 at 11:39

    This article by Karen Kwiatkowski appeared on lewrockwell.com on May 7 and then on OffGuardian on May 10. She alleges that psychotropic drugs were used on Julian Assange.
    https://off-guardian.org/2019/05/10/chemical-torture-of-julian-assange/

    Due to the backlash because these claims were unsubstantiated she followed up with a reply stating that she cannot reveal her source.
    https://off-guardian.org/2019/05/13/follow-up-alleged-torture-of-julian-assange/

    Until these claims are either confirmed or denied, it is not unimaginable that the UK and US monsters would subject Assange to such horrific treatment.

    • Zhu
      June 1, 2019 at 04:12

      THE UK has done quite a lot of torture in the 20th century, mostly in connection with fighting colonial wars of independence. See Piers Brendon, THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE, 1781-1997.

    • Abby
      June 1, 2019 at 22:37

      I would say that Kwiatkowski is telling the truth about what is happening to Assange. His condition has deteriorated rapidly since he was renditioned to Belmarsh prison. And why the hell is a political prisoner put in a maximum security prison just for jumping bail? Every person involved with his persecution has to admit that he was right when he said that if he hadn’t seeked asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy he would have been renditioned to the USA. This should get everyone involved with this to rethink what they are doing and find a way to put a stop to it.

  46. Jane Christ
    May 31, 2019 at 11:17

    I think we have a right to know what is happening to Julian Assange

  47. May 31, 2019 at 11:16

    Free Assange and Manning and let Snowden come home. May many more like them continue for
    We the People.

  48. Kenneth Fingeret
    May 31, 2019 at 10:49

    Hello Joe Lauria and Everyone, I am not surprised that the statement from Nils Melzer the UN Special Rapporteur on torture. The problem is that the governments mentioned have become way more right wing and fascist over the years. Everyone would have a greater response from pissing into the wind than anything else as these governments have a goal, individually and collectively, of locking down information from whatever source that isn’t the official propaganda line. Eventually they will succeed.

  49. ML
    May 31, 2019 at 10:21

    Treatment like this boils my blood. I think of him everyday and wish I were a praying person. Though I am not, I feel sick for him. Julian, so many of us care about you very much.

  50. Jill
    May 31, 2019 at 09:42

    This is a really strong statement and I am so glad of it. I too have marveled at what so called “democracies” have been doing.

    I want to share one strategy for reaching the NYTimes. They send e-mails asking you to subcribe. If you write them back they actually read what you wrote and respond, however inadequately. It’s one way to raise your voice directly to a participant in the persecution of Assange. Here is the e-mail I sent back to them today. (I think this is one good way of doing things because they need to continue to reach out to subscribers.)

    What is it you are informing me of? Please be specific. For example, you have participated in the smear campaign against Julian Assange which was just condemned by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. How did the lies and smears which you continue to publish about Assange inform me? Please be specific in your answer. You are asking for my money. I’m asking you about your product. What kind of product is it that I should pay for it? As a potential customer, you should be able to answer questions concerning the nature of your product. Thank you.

    • Lily
      May 31, 2019 at 12:03

      Thank you, Jill, for that suggestion. It is certainly worth to follow up. The same goes for the Guardien. How can they expect any person who has not been corrupted to agree with their filthy products?
      I feel so sorry for Julien Assange and am deeply shaken by this report as well as the answers of Jeremy Hunt and the spokesman of the Australien government. These politicians are not human any more.
      My letter to Julien went off a while ago and i have signed every petition so far. Unfortunately there is very little about this injustice in German News papers. Thank you, Joe Laurie and Consortium News, for writing about this and giving us these informations to translate and spread around.

      My thoughts are with Julien Assange. He is a hero. May he suvive and be free!

    • T
      June 5, 2019 at 06:31

      Lily,

      > Unfortunately there is very little about this injustice in German News papers.

      Try the news Web site Rubikon and the left-wing daily Junge Welt (not, I hasten to add, Jungle Welt) for extensive coverage.

      You are right, of course, about coverage by mainstream papers. The same is true of many other NATO or NATO-lining countries, unfortunately.

    • Dump Pelousy
      May 31, 2019 at 12:27

      Another way to reach the NYT is to stop buying it, reading it, promoting it, and believing it. And start enumerating its many sins, going back to the Red Scare and McCarthy the First, up to and including Judith Miller and war war war and more war. Ya know, like we did with Rachel.

    • Frederike
      May 31, 2019 at 16:02

      I will follow your advice and try to reach as many news papers possible.
      I have not subscribed to any of the so called “established” news-papers like the NY Times, Wapo, Guardian, and others, for years.

  51. OlyaPola
    May 31, 2019 at 09:32

    “‘Demonized’ Assange Has Faced ‘Psychological Torture’.

    Present social relations in some “societies” are based on an assay of psychological coercion to encourage and facilitate conformance.

    Modes and tools of coercion include but are not limited to “peer pressure” and “self-censorship”; the tools include but are not limited to “giving credit at interest” and “differential rewards”, and the vectors include many of the practices within present social relations in some “societies” including but not limited those presently misrepresented as “The United States of America” .

    Psychological torture tends to be perceived as being a distinct tool of coercion with greater amplitude of coercion.

    However both psychological coercion and psychological terror are quantitative relative positions within the linear paradigm of coercion – the relative positions of which tend towards coalescence when the social relations facilitated by the linear paradigm of coercion is perceived to be under threat.

    Hence not only Mr. Assange has faced psychological torture but most people on the planet have – the efforts of Ms. Haspel being mirrored to some degree by Mr. Bolton and others within and without the temporary social relations presently misrepresented as “The United States of America”, thereby encouraging outcomes to the detriment of Ms. Haspel, Mr. Bolton and others who tend to resort to belief to bridge doubt to attain certainty – the process of confirmation bias – and re-iteration of the practices, thereby increasing the scope and velocity of outcomes to the detriment of Ms. Haspel, Mr. Bolton and others widening the perceived scope of “Pour encourager les autres”.

    • Ray Weiss
      May 31, 2019 at 10:53

      Your narcissistic abuse of vocabulary uas created a nearly-unreadable garbage post. We get it; you know words, and are very smart.

    • Dump Pelousy
      May 31, 2019 at 12:28

      Thank you Ray– perfectly and succinctly said.

    • OlyaPola
      May 31, 2019 at 14:27

      “Your narcissistic abuse of vocabulary uas created a nearly-unreadable garbage post. We get it; you know words, and are very smart.”

      Thank you for your illustration of some of the components in the petri-dish of the opponents’ “culture”.

    • ML
      May 31, 2019 at 17:55

      More word salad from Oily Poylie. It’ll take a heap of dressing to cover your unintelligible mess. Clean it up.

    • May 31, 2019 at 11:07

      Please translate.

  52. David G
    May 31, 2019 at 09:16

    “… Nils Melzer said in a statement published on the UN High Commissioner for Human Right’s website on Friday …”

    The link at the word “statement” in the main text goes nowhere.

    Several news sources are quoting from direct conversations with Melzer, as well as from his public statement. But I haven’t found the full text of the statement yet. If you fixed this link, that would be appreciated.

    • David G
      May 31, 2019 at 09:30

      Here’s the statement on the site of the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights: https://ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=24665&LangID=E

    • Consortiumnews.com
      May 31, 2019 at 09:49

      It is fixed now….the correct link has been put in…. https://ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=24665&LangID=E

    • geeyp
      June 2, 2019 at 04:57

      Get this people: Unlike so many sell-outs in this country and elsewhere, this gentleman is not paid for this work and this report! He is not owned and he is a truth teller! Help protect him, if you can, also.

    • Clark M Shanahan
      May 31, 2019 at 10:08

      here’s a great excerpt copied off today’s Guardian:
      ““I was surprised, for example, to see that on the date he was arrested he was immediately brought to court after six years in the embassy and then convicted. Under the normal rule of law you would expect someone to be arrested and then given a couple of weeks to prepare his defence at least.”

      The former legal adviser to the Red Cross will say on Friday: “In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution I have never seen a group of democratic states ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonise and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law.””

      This would be rather difficult for any ethical Brit judge to ignore. Kudos to Melzer

  53. Michael Houlihan
    May 31, 2019 at 09:14

    Responding to Jeremy Hunt’s statement that Julian Assange “chose to hide in the embassy”, Mr. Hunt continues his ongoing character assassination of Assange by not recognizing the difference between hiding and legitimately seeking asylum from unjust persecution. If anyone was “hiding”, it was the United States’ secret courts which hid their real list of indictments against Assange which only recently became known when Assange was arrested. You see Mr. Hunt, “hiding” means that you are out of sight and no one really knows where you are. The whole world knew where Julian was and he often spoke to the world from the balcony of that “well-hidden” Ecuadorian Embassy in the heart of London. “…always free to leave and face justice” you say? I think not. Julian Assange was never afraid of facing justice for skipping bail in London, nor would he have been afraid to get on a plane and face his accusers in Sweden. However, what did give him a moment of pause from emerging as a “free man” from the Ecuadorian Embassy, was the very real prospect of being extradited to the United States from Sweden to face a litany of unjust charges for doing his job as an investigative journalist. Mr. Hunt talks about inflammatory accusations coming from Nils Melzer, the UN rapporteur, about the treatment of Julian Assange, but makes no mention of the inflammatory remarks against Assange from his own Parliament and from the United States, where Assange would ostensibly face a “fair trial” amidst those who have been calling for the death penalty and even his assassination- before any evidence has even been heard and Assange permitted to defend himself! Mr. Hunt is fond of saying “no one is above the law”. Sounds good. So, if Mr. Hunt truly believes that, why aren’t those responsible for the war crimes Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning exposed on trial? Oh and one last thing. I suppose Mr. Hunt believes that the United States never pressured the Swedish prosecutors or the British Government to help them “get” Julian Assange. Nah, no interference whatsoever.

    • Skip Scott
      May 31, 2019 at 09:51

      Great comment Michael! If only more people were exposed to arguments like yours!

    • Martin - Swedish citizen
      May 31, 2019 at 13:43

      Yes, great comment indeed!

      The behaviour of the Swedish prosecutors in this matter is conspicuous, to put it mildly. Mr Melzer’s crystal clear statement comes from the body created to protect peace and human rights on Earth, the UN. People should be wise to consider it very seriously.
      So should the governments involved, not least the Swedish one, usually paying tribute to the authority of the UN. If the UN is ignored once again regarding Mr Assange, what right does the Swedish government retain to refer to the UN on other matters that concern other nations?

    • hetro
      May 31, 2019 at 15:04

      I too commend this rebuke, Michael. Thank you. (Melzer’s own response also very good.)

      Hunt’s hypocrisy is astounding with the use of such language as “hide[s],” “free to leave,” and “face justice.” He then suggests the Special Rapporteur is being inflammatory–not himself, of course–following this self-righteous diatribe:

      “This is wrong. Assange chose to hide in the embassy and was always free to leave and face justice. The UN Special Rapporteur should allow British courts to make their judgements without his interference or inflammatory accusations.”

      It is clear enough, as represented by this site and its commenters, that this line of authoritarian bullshit will not hold up unless the recipient has been thoroughly saturated with government-sourced propaganda and the “mobbing on” Melzer speaks of.

    • litchfield
      June 3, 2019 at 13:11

      Re ““free to leave”

      Reminds me of how the German govt denies any responsibility for loss of citizenship by people who left Germany to flee persecution by the Third Reich—and therefore survived.
      Now the German govt says things such as “they left with valid passports”: “no one made them go”; etc.

    • James
      June 3, 2019 at 11:10

      Well said

  54. May 31, 2019 at 08:46

    Using Joe Lauria’s excellent summary above as a starting point, I added the latest commentary from Lissa Johnson, John Pilger, and Craig Murray in one place, so everyone has an up-to-date place from which to view what is going on with the torture of Assange.

    http://opensociet.org/2019/05/31/un-report-mr-assange-shows-all-symptoms-typical-for-prolonged-exposure-to-psychological-torture/

    • Joe Lauria
      May 31, 2019 at 12:49

      This is not a summary but a news report that was published before the NYT or Washington Post wrote a word about this this morning.

    • Robert Mayer
      June 2, 2019 at 11:21

      As stated by myself previously: TNX CN4 YOUR CONTINUED COVERAGE OF JULIAN’S ABU$E AT HANDS OF FAKE DEMOCRACY GOVTS OF WORLD… ONLY CN IN MY OBSERVATION HAS PURSUED THIS SUBJECT W/SERIOUSNESS DESERVING ATTACK ON JOURMALISM… SO NOW REST WILL COPY…? “WAT’S DAT SMELL FROM MAINSTREEM GREEDIA TNX 1MOX CN/ JOE

    • June 1, 2019 at 10:07

      Yes, of course Joe Lauria. Thank you for writing it. Your piece was published before the NYT or WaPo or Guardian wrote anything about it this morning. I can testify to this.

      When I searched the news this morning, only your piece on CN and this piece from Reuters were published at that time.

      Some miscommunication. I use the word “report” to refer to the Nils Melzer’s UN report itself, which can be found on the UN News website here as well as the OHCHR website here, which your piece calls the “UN Torture Report” as in “UN Torture Report: ‘Demonized’ Assange Has Faced ‘Psychological Torture.’”

      To avoid confusion, I labeled your piece a “summary” of this UN Torture Report to distinguish it from the report itself. Apparently this is a mistake, for which I accept responsibility.

      The larger question is where is the full report? As in Melzer must have made a clinical documentation of his first hand account of torture, which he gave to the UK government, which no doubt angered Jeremy Hunt. This full report of the UN Special Rapporteur on torture would no doubt outline the specific methods of torture used on Assange in prison, which we all are concerned about.

      For example, the statement of Karen Kwiatkowski here on the use of 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate to drug Assange. This could be confirmed or denied in Melzer’s report.

      No doubt this report on the specifics of the torture Assange currently undergoes is “classified.” My guess is placing Assange in hospital at the prison gives the torturers access to more drugs to use on Assange rather than getting him out of harm’s way.

      We shall see. Hoping and praying for the best outcome, under the circumstances, whatever they may be.

      ~ O

  55. jack flanigan
    May 31, 2019 at 08:23

    I am remiss. I have avoided involving with Julian’s predicament on the basis that others were managing the situation and I felt that expressing my views would not be helpful. I have kept up to date with his predicament and now I am left feeling angry and impotent regarding the way the Australian government has totally abandoned it’s responsibilities to this citizen. Julian has been abandoned and betrayed by each and every member of parliament since day one. Julian has been abandoned and vilified and betrayed by Australians.
    Most of all I have betrayed him by doing nothing but protest marches are no longer my forte. Some years age I joined his party and made a financial donation by way of a cheque which I suspect was intercepted by Australian authorities. All the time however I have been preoccupied with my own interests to my personal disgrace.

    Jack Flanigan

  56. Alan Ross
    May 31, 2019 at 08:17

    The craven cowards at the NY Times published an article that gutted the UN report to be able to say they did not boycott the story while actually trying to make Julian Assange look bad. If a sinkhole opened on 8th Avenue and swallowed the NY Times building I would celebrate it for the rest of my life.

  57. May 31, 2019 at 08:00

    Here Lissa Johnson outlines the psychological propaganda methods used by the state and the media on the public to get the entire world to join in the Scarlet Letter, life in the stocks, throwing tomatoes abuse heaped upon Julian Assange for the last decade.

    Some days I am ashamed to be a human being because of how mean and violent we are. Today is one of those days. We seem to be little more than monkeys with guns.

    https://opensociet.org/2019/05/30/how-our-psychological-vulnerabilities-are-exploited-to-control-us/

  58. Skip Scott
    May 31, 2019 at 06:34

    I wonder if Mr. Meltzer’s report has unintentionally hastened Julian’s demise. How much simpler for him to just die rather than have the empire endure all the bad press associated with trials and extraditions. The evil of empire knows no bounds. Once Julian is in his grave, the empire and their MSM lackeys will waste no time ginning up a new distraction (likely a new war), and Julian Assange’s martyrdom will be flushed down the memory hole.

    • Joe Tedesky
      May 31, 2019 at 10:42

      Skip I see what you are saying. If the revenge of Assange is to be his untimely demise due to his own failing health that would avoid further diminishing the freedom of press. So Assange would be no more and the press would have another day … that is until the next time big government decides to take down another journalist, that is.

    • Jane Christ
      May 31, 2019 at 11:21

      Horrible thought

    • Joe Tedesky
      May 31, 2019 at 21:35

      I agree as I wish I hadn’t thought it but these evil doers of deceptive Machiavellianism are pros at taking advantage of a crisis. Cheers went up in some places when Hillary said ‘we ought to drone him’ meaning Julian Assange so am I wandering into the wilderness or am I getting close to home as to who or what kind of revenge seekers that Assange is being forced to deal with might take him out? The total lack of transparency is utterly astounding so what else is one to think when news leaks tell of Julian’s failing health? We are in no man’s land for sure with the scant news.

      I personally wish Julian Assange an early release and a future of abundantly good health… he deserves it. Let’s also hope the evil doers decide not too make a martyr out of Julian Assange.

    • Dump Pelousy
      May 31, 2019 at 12:38

      They were doing it anyway. I feared we would get a death announcement as soon as he went into the prison “hospital”. Exposure is what killers fear most, so this UN/ Nils report is a good thing, and may save this poor man’s life. But I think the elephant in the room is not as O Society says above– that we are monkeys with guns–but is that we are monkeys with a CIA. If that can be exposed it will save a lot of people’s lives.

    • May 31, 2019 at 14:53

      Many folks assume the goal of all this is to get Assange to face trial in the US.

      I believe this is a naive assumption. Why would the US government want Assange saying anything on the record in a courtroom? The last thing America wants is a truthteller on the stand shining the light of day on their cockroaches for all to see.

      No, the goal always has been to get Assange in custody and torture him. Brainwash him so he can’t say anything meaningful and beat him for vengeance sake. He’ll die accidentally on purpose long before he says anything in a US courtroom. Hillary wasn’t kidding about her drone strike. She’ll probably get to kick Assange in the ribs a couple times while he’s in custody with her white Gucci pumps of virtue.

      Here’s one about monkeys with a gun:

      http://www.thepolemicist.net/2019/05/swedish-sex-pistol-aimed-at-assange.html

    • rosemerry
      May 31, 2019 at 18:08

      Remember Aaron Shwartz, who a few years ago was driven to suicide at the age of 26 by the “US Justice” as he saw no chance of freedom for the rest of his life for daring to expose “secrets”. A movie, “The Internet’s Own Boy,” helped more people to know about him, but who remembers now?

    • Skip Scott
      June 2, 2019 at 07:40

      I agree rosemerry. Very few people remember Aaron Shwartz. It is by design that he is forgotten by the masses. The same may well happen to Julian. No one who goes up against powerful interests should expect anything less than a full onslaught on all aspects of their life in reprisal.

    • sin2theta
      June 3, 2019 at 01:55

      People in the tech community have seen that movie and remember Aaron Swartz. He was targeted because of his ability to get large amounts of people together in support of anti-establishment causes. Software developers still work on applications for Internet security and Internet freedom (alternative browsers, VPNs, encryption software for journalists and people whose government prevents them from going online, etc.) but they are not the majority. What surprises me is the ignorance of those who would sell their souls for a chance to work for Google or Facebook.

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