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“Julian Assange is not a criminal”: UN rapporteur calls for his immediate release

The UN rapporteur on torture called on the British authorities on Tuesday to “immediately release” Julian Assange or to place him under house arrest until he is fixed on the American extradition request. “Mr. Assange is not a criminal and poses no threat to anyone, so his prolonged solitary confinement in a high security prison is neither necessary nor proportionate and clearly lacks a legal basis,” said Swiss Nils Melzer in a statement. The opinion of this expert, who is mandated by the UN Human Rights Council, does not however commit the organization.

“In light of the expected first-instance decision on his extradition on January 4,” Mr. Melzer also reiterated his appeal to the British authorities not to extradite him to the United States because of “serious rights issues. of man “in this country. The United States wants to judge him for the distribution of hundreds of thousands of confidential documents.

Pending the British decision, the founder of Wikileaks is imprisoned in the London high security prison of Belmarsh, where his conditions of detention were denounced by Mr. Melzer.

American justice wants to try the 49-year-old Australian, in particular for espionage. He faces 175 years in prison for having disseminated, from 2010, more than 700,000 classified documents on American military and diplomatic activities, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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