The United Nations rapporteur on torture on Tuesday, December 8, asked the British authorities to "immediately release" Julian Assange or place him under house arrest until the US extradition request is resolved.
Assange is not a criminal and poses no threat to anyone, so his prolonged isolation in a high-security prison is neither necessary nor proportionate and clearly lacks a legal basis, said the Swiss Nils Melzer in a statement.
The opinion of this expert, who is mandated by the United Nations Human Rights Council, does not commit the organization.
In light of the first instance decision on his extradition, scheduled for January 4, Melzer also reiterated his call to the British authorities not to extradite him to the United States due to "serious human rights problems" in that 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 incarcerated in the London high-security prison of Belmarsh, where his conditions of detention were denounced by Melzer.
It considers that his "prolonged isolation" amounts to "not only arbitrary detention, but also torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment", and expresses special concern about "Assange's exposure to COVID
-19 due to your pre-existing medical condition ”.
The American justice wants to try the Australian, 49, for espionage. He faces 175 years in prison for having released, as of 2010, more than 700,000 classified documents on US military and diplomatic activities, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan.