The UN’s Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer said that jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has suffered „psychological torture“ during a press briefing at the United Nations in New York City on Tuesday.
„I visited him [Julian Assange] with two medical experts, we came to the conclusion that he has been exposed to psychological torture for a prolonged period of time. That’s a medical assessment. We asked for all the involved States to investigate this case and to alleviate the pressure that has been done on him,“ Melzer said.
He added that none of the nations involved in the case had begun an investigation, despite their responsibility to do so under the UN Convention on Torture. The Special Rapporteur went on to touch on the issue of domestic violence and the need for action.
„Domestic violence is very much regarded as a private matter in most countries. So I want to put this in the agenda that, States, although domestic violence usually not an act of state, States still have the obligation to positively protect their population from this type of violence.“
Melzer stated that the scale of domestic violence is comparable to the number of deaths caused in an armed conflict.
Chair of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture Malcolm Evans added that frequently the situation in migrant detention centres is comparable to that of „prisons“.