HomeArticleThe UN Torture Report On Assange Is An Indictment Of Our Entire Society

The UN Torture Report On Assange Is An Indictment Of Our Entire Society

On the eighth of April, shortly before London police forcibly carried WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange out of the Ecuadorian embassy, a doctor named Sondra S Crosby wrote a letter to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights requesting that the office look into Assange’s case. Today, following a scorching rebuke of multiple governments by UN Special Rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer, mass media outlets around the world are reporting that Julian Assange has been found to be the victim of brutal psychological torture.

Melzer, who by his own admission began his investigation as someone who had “been affected by the same misguided smear campaign as everybody else” regarding Assange, speaks of Assange’s plight with the fresh-eyed ferocity of a man who has not been immersed in a soul-corroding career in establishment politics or mass media. A man has not been indoctrinated into accepting as normal the relentless, malicious character assassinations of the western political/media class against a publisher of inconvenient facts about the powerful. A man who, when looking deeply and objectively into the facts with uncorrupted vision, was able to see clearly just how unforgivably abusive Assange’s treatment has been.

“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,” Melzer said. “The collective persecution of Julian Assange must end here and now!”

Melzer condemned attempts to extradite Assange to the US under the Espionage Act, as well as what he called “a relentless and unrestrained campaign of public mobbing, intimidation and defamation against Mr. Assange, not only in the United States, but also in the United Kingdom, Sweden and, more recently, Ecuador.”

“According to the expert, this included an endless stream of humiliating, debasing and threatening statements in the press and on social media, but also by senior political figures, and even by judicial magistrates involved in proceedings against Assange,” the OHCHR statement reads.

“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 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,” said Melzer. “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.”

“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.”

“I condemn, in the strongest terms, the deliberate, concerted and sustained nature of the abuse inflicted on Mr. Assange and seriously deplore the consistent failure of all involved governments to take measures for the protection of his most fundamental human rights and dignity,” Melzer added.

It is hugely significant that a UN expert has included the massive anti-Assange smear campaign in his assessment of psychological abuse. For far too long this devastating psychological weapon of the powerful has gone fully normalized and unacknowledged for the damage and suffering it causes, and now an authoritative voice has pointed it out and called it into public consciousness for the depraved manipulation that it is. It’s a very interesting development to see western governments and their media stenographers condemned in this way for their participation in such savagery.

Responses to Melzer’s findings have been explosive. Virtually every major media outlet in the English-speaking world has been carrying headlines about this story, from the New York Times to the Washington Post to Fox News to CNN to the Guardian to the BBC to the Herald Sun. An attempt to regain control of the narrative by the accused governments, therefore, was of course quick to follow.

“This is wrong,” tweeted Britain’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt in response to the story. “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.”

Abusers always demand the right to conduct their abuse in private.

Hunt, who’d just returned from hanging out with the Trump administration’s warmongering psychopath John Bolton, received a direct response from Melzer himself.

“With all due respect, Sir: Mr Assange was about as ‘free to leave’ as a someone sitting on a rubber boat in a shark pool,” Melzer tweeted. “As detailed in my formal letter to you, so far, UK courts have not shown the impartiality and objectivity required by the rule of law.”

Australia, another of the governments accused of facilitating Assange’s torture, was also quick to issue an equally feeble response.

“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,” reads a statement by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. “The Special Rapporteur has not been in contact with the Australian Government to raise these concerns directly. The Australian Government is a staunch defender of human rights and a strong advocate for humane treatment in the course of judicial processes. We are confident that Mr Assange is being treated appropriately in Belmarsh Prison.”

Assange has in fact grown so ill in Belmarsh Prison that he is reportedly unable to carry out a lucid conversation, and has been losing a drastic amount of weight. His failing health has been an established fact for a year and a half, with doctors warning at the beginning of last year that conditions in the Ecuadorian embassy are placing his physical wellbeing in serious danger, and has the entire time been pathetically ignored by the government of Assange’s home country.

Melzer’s report is an indictment of our entire society. It’s an indictment of the US-centralized western power alliance. It’s an indictment of the politicians, opaque government agencies and plutocrats who lead that alliance. It’s an indictment of the mass media who regurgitate whatever their government tells them to into the minds of a credulous populace. It’s an indictment of everyone who has ever helped spread the smear campaign against Assange, wherever they may have spread it; every remark, every social media comment, every share and retweet. The entire abusive construct has been outed as exactly what it is, from top to bottom.

So things have been severely shaken up. A massive smear campaign spanning all western nations across all political sectors has been pulled into the spotlight of public consciousness, mass media outlets who’ve devoted huge amounts of resources to assassinating Assange’s character have been forced to report a major revelation coming directly from the United Nations, Assange supporters can now officially say with full authority that his persecutors have literally tortured him, and establishment narrative managers are fighting on the back foot.

And right now all I can feel is gratitude. Gratitude toward Dr Crosby for writing to the UN after examining Assange, gratitude toward Nils Melzer for going to visit him in Belmarsh with an open mind and a compassionate heart, and, most importantly, gratitude toward Julian Assange. Gratitude to him for never giving up this fight.

I mean, think about it. Imagine if Assange had just gone to Sweden when he was told to? He would have surely been extradited to the United States years ago, wrongfully prosecuted in an Eastern District of Virginia court proceeding impossibly rigged against him, and by now the world would have all but forgotten him. He could have laid down, he could have given up, he could have died in that embassy in any number of ways. He had so many off-ramps he could have taken from the psychological torture that he has been subjected to since exposing US war crimes in 2010, but he chose to stand and fight instead. He decided that if they wanted his head, they were going to have to work for it.

Because of that decision, because Julian Assange decided to stand his ground and trade blows toe-to-toe with the most powerful empire in the history of human civilization, he forced them to expose themselves. He forced the oppression machine to reveal its true face, by coordinating across national borders to drag him bodily out of the embassy, locking him in a cage, waging a war upon the free press with outrageous espionage charges, and finally being found guilty of torturing a journalist for publishing factual documents about the powerful.

We have all that information now. It can’t be unseen. Because Assange chose to fight, we now have that evidence and we can use it to help wake people up to the true face behind the smiling mask of “liberal democracy” we’ve all been told to believe in since grade school. Even while imprisoned, sick, and barely even able to speak, Julian Assange is still exposing these bastards for what they are.

Don’t let his example go to waste.

________________________

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Latest comments

  • After listening to some of the video Orlando posted, I did a little research and found that Wayne Madsen also wondered about Wikileaks being some kind of Mossad operation b/c it never seemed to do much damage to Israel. Now, this was from back in 2010, so maybe things changed in the years since.

    The Wiki (Israel) Leaks
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sKV7DZmF6k

    I honestly don’t know what the truth is anymore, so I question everything.

  • First, let me say, I’m totally in support of freeing Assange. I haven’t followed all that wikileaks has released, but I’m aware of the DNC emails, the Vault 7 info, and US war crimes.

    Orlando-

    Thanks for posting that video of Julian Assange. I’ve only listened to a few minutes of it, but the narrator (Anthony Lawson, who died in 2015, so this is old, probably from one of the videos on his channel) brings up some interesting information about the the information wikileaks exposed years ago, which I have to admit makes me a bit suspicious, including the down playing the number of casualties in Iraq, not mentioning anything about the crimes of Israel, or the role of Mossad all over the place in Iraq, and pushing propaganda against Iran. But what has always made me a bit suspicious of Assange is that he completely supports the official BS fairy tale of 911, which is the whole reason we are involved in all these Neocon wars and it’s responsible for the never-ending fake war on terror.

    Also, I know the Sibel Edmonds has also been suspicious of him and not sure if it was a psyop as well. I checked in with her recently and that seems to still be her suspicion. I honestly don’t know–I’m suspicious of what hasn’t been exposed, but at the same time, I do appreciate the information he has gotten out there.

  • Too depressed.

  • Spot on. Again. JA’s case is exposing the global fascism that has been suffocating the world these past 40 years now. We can now confirm, through dropped emails, how this cabal thwarts the democratic process of a nation to determine its own future. We can now confirm that war crimes have taken place, just as Trump is now pardoning war criminals.

    It’s time to end this 40-yr. assault on progressive policies that protect citizens from corporate fascist abuse. Universal basic human rights are the issue in point here. The plot to move the world backwards to a time when there were no rights and protections is underway and we need to stop it.

    Making Progressives The Enemy

    http://tothepointanalyses.com/making-progressives-the-enemy/?fbclid=IwAR0ebXAngJpSZY0-WdB-zOgfqWnGsmYzqkYMP4A69kqbHrTI6WqjSpWM4Ow

    Trump and Biden are both neoliberal fascists pushing the conservative revolution against progressives. The goal has been to remove government investment in the public sector and create a credit-dependent nation, controlled by private banks, who hate the nation-state’s power to issue its own currency out of thin air to invest in public purpose.

    The Legacy of Friedrich Von Hayek (father of Neoliberalism):
    Fascism Didn’t Die With Hitler

    “Remove sovereign nation-states from a role in economic development and all you have is the oligarchy’s cartels.

    The so-called Gingrich Revolution is just the latest effort by the House of Windsor’s agents and useful fools to repackage the same Conservative Revolution that has brought death and destruction to civilization throughout much of the past century.”

    https://archive.schillerinstitute.com/educ/hist/1995/von_hayek.html?fbclid=IwAR0SUSiAaridi8hMYl3oVL8fIql5rO_IavRB6hlxYMMKlEP4dG8HVGtGF1g

    “No one in the professional world wants to be exposed as a charlatan. So the resistance to MMT understandings also reflects the fact that there are a lot of careers at stake here in fact. That reality, alone, will generate massive opposition using any tactics that are available.

    There is nothing intellectual in this debate now.

    MMT has finally been perceived as a threat to the cosy and fake macroeconomics that the mainstream of my profession has been hiding behind and profiting from – materially and by repute – for years.

    That threat has become obvious as more and more people seek to understand our work and embrace it as viable knowledge.”

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=42327

  • I just don’t understand why Assange has not been accused of being ‘antisemitic’. Everyone else has been.

  • I saw in your post that it was in the Guardian. That didn’t really register with me. I’d already been the Guardian, but usually I go to the UK politics so I can see the disaster the racists are creating with Brexit. So, I went back and looked. UK Politics, no mention. UK news, no mention. Front page, no mention. World news, no mention. American news. No mention. I could find that John Bolton insulted a royal princess, but nothing about Assange. So, I came back here, and followed the link and of course it was there, no surprise because I trust Caitlin, at least enough to know she’s never lied about such things. Then I looked where the article was, and it was down in the Australian News section of the site. Nowhere else of course. Gawd forbid that an exceptional American should read that his/her country is involved in torture when all they want to see is the latest in Hate-Trump pieces.

  • I wish the Nobel Committee would give Assange the Peace Prize. I wonder how that would effect the outcome.

    • it would only insult Assange, but fortunately it will never happen.

      • Wouldn’t that go a long ways to redeeming the Nobel Committee for giving Obama and Kissinger the Prize.

        You don’t believe in redemption?

        !

        • Norwegian fascists are beyond redemption. The award to the compradore traitor Liu Xiao-bo was the nadir-so far.

  • Assange asked all of us to take his place and blow the whistle as loud as we can.

    all of us must do whatever we can, to interrupt, disrupt, undermine, expose, weaken, destroy, and flush down the toilet the NWO, the axis of evil.

    for our children, grandchildren, neighbors, and strangers near and far.

    • It was always going to take more than one or even a few whistleblowers. There is an early stage of things where it is important to tell everyone that the government is lying to them. But that stage alone changes nothing. It was always going to take some sort of mass action to make the changes needed so that the governments don’t act so horribly and then try to hide it. At the very least, that would take a mass popular political movement to win elections and take power. And historically, it seems to usually take a mass of people who are even more committed to make things change than that.

  • The Australian Government were also criticized in the report for not supporting Assange. This morning ABC NewsRadio reported the Government said “they rejected” the accusation. Having just won an election they don’t have to care what people think. So you can imagine what all those emails to your MHR would have done – nothing.

    • You’re right there, Palloy. The emails I sent to my MP and the PM and Foreign Affairs Minister and their Opposition counterparts got zero response. Australians have no influence on foreign policy which is written in Washington. Sadly, I think it’s chiefly up to people in the US and UK to save Julian’s life.

    • After years or torturing refugee children in off-shore Hell-holes until they go mad and/or attempt suicide, the ‘Christians’ of the Scummo regime no doubt thoroughly approve of Assange’s torture.

  • “Responses to Melzer’s findings have been explosive. Virtually every major media outlet in the English-speaking world has been carrying headlines about this story, from the New York Times to the Washington Post to Fox News to CNN to the Guardian to the BBC to the Herald Sun. An attempt to regain control of the narrative by the accused governments, therefore, was of course quick to follow”

    “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain

    Consider the coverage Alfred De Zayas received from those same major propaganda outlets when he talked about the ocean of lies ongoing in Syria and Venezuela.

    We must also remember that it is only a handful of corporations that owned the vast majority of the major media outlets and editorial decisions are made by people with a particular narrative to push.

  • Free Assange and Manning you pigs.

  • An alternative view on Wikileaks and Julian Assange.

    • Fuck you, Orlando. That crude expression is all you deserve for this disgusting display of ignorance and hatred.

      • Just offering an alternative viewpoint. In the marketplace of ideas, you will not like everything you are offered nor do you have to accept any of them. You are free to decide as a self-sovereign human being.

        “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain

        • You’re right. Let’s all pause and reflect. A lot of people have paused and reflected. And they’ve concluded this idea is bonkers. So either the people propagating it are bonkers or are sitting in an office in Langley, Virginia.

          • “A lot of people have paused and reflected. And they’ve concluded this idea is bonkers.”

            Can you actually enumerate “alot of people” and read their minds at the same time?

            “So either the people propagating it are bonkers or are sitting in an office in Langley, Virginia.”

            Suppositions are not facts. Therefore you may be right or wrong.

            Did you actually watch the entire video and research the statements made in the video?

            Again note the omission of Israel in the 2009 most wanted leaks. And how Wikileaks was made into a household name by the very same controlled propaganda outlets.

            Has Wikileaks or for that matter Snowden truly revealed information that wasn’t already known in the public domain?

            I am not saying this “persecution of Assange” is not meant to send a message to the masses in particular to create a chilling effect on would be whistleblowers and investigative journalist.

            However let us not forget that whenever the MSM is talking about something a particular narrative has been decided upon by the controllers. The Bilderberg conference is going on right now and the leaders of the Anglo-Zionist empire are plotting their next moves while the western media focuses on this latest iteration of the Wikileaks/Assange saga.

            • Funny thing is I can’t find the person/organization responsible for your video. It comes with no name attached. It’s quite a classy looking production too. Did it ever cross your mind that this put down is the true Mossad/CIA psyop?

      • Take a look at the vid instead of having the typical compulsive reaction. Orlando is on to something. On Medium.com there is an article there that suggest and remind the masses of considering what is NOT being presented to us, as a typical part of the ‘menu’ we are ‘offered’ and allowed to see.

        The above video is very honest vid. Take a look, it’s not going to kill you…

        APOLOGIES to Caitlin, I was able to copy my comment after it was published, but not b4. I m very sorry. I sincerely apologies.

    • Thank you so much for this precious documentary, Orlando, but apparently the problem still remains. Because if he worked for/with the Mossad, why is he still in prison being, as we speak, DISMANTLED and GUTTED, AS THESE CRIMINALS WOULD, A TRUCK ENGINE?!?! where is the Mossad?!!? why aren’t they helping him and intervening on his behalf?
      And if he never published anything bad about Israel, it will be probably only because he was too aware of what whould happen to him if he dared to double cross them. He should have thought the same thing of CIA, but he was too wrapped up in his own bs to put his safety on the same pedestal as letting the world know what is going on behind the walls where these gangsters do their dirty rotten business.

      I watched half of this documentary, and I find the content Most Credible. So thank you very much for posting it.
      Apparently Assange is learning the hardest way that Mossad is just another scumbag who is no better or perhaps worst than the drug cartel or Italian mafia.
      …his “I am untouchable” utterance really proves him to be the oblivious and cluless moron that he really is.

      AGAIN, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

      I just tried to save my comment on my hard drive by using the cut/paste and WAS NOT ALLOWED TO DO THAT with a comment I wrote and I therefore OWN. IF THIS DOES NOT SHOW HER for just another fraud, among many, nothing does.

      WHAT IS THE SECRECY ABOUT ME COPYING MY OWN COMMENT TO MY OWN DRIVE?!?!?!
      SHAME ON YOU CAITLIN. you’re another faux!!!

    • Orlando, the above compilation’s content put aside, i find it peculiar that it has been posted in 2017, yet, the first comment to it was only like about 6 hours ago!!!!! The one and only comment btw? Lots of clips in it were repeated over and over. As if to drill content through one’s cranium whether they like it or not.
      But still, there are some relevant bits and pieces in there. Definitely makes one think. Txs.

      I am starting to wonder if the guy is not just another world theater performer. Many people tried to do the right thing and expose evil, but they were cancelled on the spot!!!! No worse than Assange by any strech of imagination, YET,,,,,,….. This guy is clearly allowed to live in an utter piece (pun intended) and its been a decade that he has been around. For all I know he could be having a party at Melmarsh while claiming to be imprisonned. Lots of questions are yet to be anwered. CIA’s assassins abound as well trained as they are. TXS.

  • Julian Assange is not the first to be killed by an evil Empire for exposing their crimes.

  • If the American people are not shocked and disgusted by what their government is doing to this truth-teller, then they deserve everything that will be coming to them. There is a price to be paid for turning one’s back on all ethics and morality.

  • I am still disgusted and amazed that the Australian government continues to sit back while one of its citizens is so abused.

    • Here, Rick. This might help:

  • now that “they” got Assange, intimidated all the real and potential whistleblower, and hasn’t seen any sign of “mass revolt” or “revolution,” their propaganda machine starts faking their championing the “freedom of the press” “the rule of law” “human rights” and covering their asses. it’s all as scripted. slow boiling of the frog.

  • The argument that “he was free to face justice” ignore the way prosecutorial discretion allows the government to charge people way beyond what’s proportionate. In Assange’s case, the chances that some judge would limit this abuse are slim-to-none. And once he was in the maws of the “justice” system, in some isolation cell somewhere, we’d move on to another pressing issue and forget him. As happened with Chelsea Manning, and other whistleblowers charged under the oppressive Espionage Act.

    Agreed that we owe Assange a huge debt of gratitude, and let’s not forget the government of Rafael Correa, which bravely gave him asylum.

  • Thank you very much Caitlin Johnstone for your excellent piece on the UN report by Nils Melzer–a man of character, for a change. I posted your piece on my timeline and last night sent a plea to 68 people (which I also posted on my timeline and marked public) to send a complaint to Amnesty International for not fighting for Assange, and for its statement that he isn’t a political prisoner. I wrote a summary of events about the whole Assange case for the post.What else can I do to help save Assange? Like everyone who cares about him, I’m fearing for his life and sanity. Will extradition be approved by these contemptible UK puppets, and if so, will the case go to the EU Court of Human Rights? If he recovers (and I wince at writing that) he must be given greater access to his lawyers, and tools for his defense (computer, etc.)

    • BDS! pull the plug and cut the cord! boycott the system! demand others around you do the same! if they don’t, boycott them too!

  • Julian Assange and Wikileaks have been a heroic source of honest exposures of the abuses of the military industrial complex, deep state and other governmental forces working against human life and liberty. We owe him so much for his courage and persistence in the face of this psychological torture. Thank you Caitlin so much for this articulate revelation.

  • We are mad, not only individually, but nationally. We check manslaughter and isolated murders; but what of war and the much vaunted crime of slaughtering whole peoples?– Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Epistles [1st Century A.D.]

    We are all Assanges; the everyday human cannon fodder meant to be abused, stepped on, and crushed by those that ” own us ” body and soul!!!

  • If anyone had a case for political asylum it would be Assange. It makes one think the millions of asylum seekers in the US and Europe are being granted “asylum” for another reason.

    • and that “another reason” is self-evident.

      • i mean, the soullessness of this country’s ethos always attract sorry excuses for human beings.

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