Efforts to free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from Belmarsh Prison in the UK were ramped up this week ahead of the G7 summit with an action in Geneva, a petition, and an intervention by the UN special rapporteur on torture.
Assange’s fiancee Stella Moris, Geneva Mayor Frederique Perler, and UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer called for the journalist’s release and an end to US extradition proceedings against him on Friday.
Melzer, who also serves as the Swiss human rights chair at the Geneva Academy, called Assange’s incarceration “one of the biggest judicial scandals in history” and referred to the WikiLeaks founder, as well as whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, as the “skeletons in the cupboards of Western countries.”
“It is the story of a man being persecuted in our part of the world for having told the truth,” Melzer said. “He has exposed war crimes, he has exposed torture, he has exposed corruption. It’s an inconvenient truth.
“Are you teaching your children that it’s a good thing or a bad thing to tell the truth?” he continued, concluding that he cannot leave his children a world “where it has become a crime to tell the truth because, once that has happened, we are living in tyranny.”
The #Assange case may be the biggest judicial scandal in history.— Nils Melzer (@NilsMelzer) June 4, 2021
It is the story of a man being persecuted for telling the truth, the whole truth & nothing but the truth.
I cannot leave to my children a world where telling the truth has become a crime, for it will be a tyranny. https://t.co/5DUyqcP9t1 pic.twitter.com/lotJ5dBRUT