HRC: PEC statement on Assange

General Assembly

Human Rights Council 43rd session

 Item 4 General Debate

Mr President,

The Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) would like to draw the attention of the Human Rights Council on the very worrying situation of a journalist we all know because few years ago he came here in Geneva to testify: Julian Assange.

This journalist is detained in the United Kingdom and the court proceedings for his extradition to the United States begun at the very first day of this session of the Human Rights Council on 24 February. He could face up to 175 years in prison for espionage.

Democracies are sending the wrong message and setting an unfortunate precedent by inflicting on Julian Assange severe mental suffering and psychological torture as defined by the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, in his report to this session A/HRC/43/49.

Nils Melzer stated in an interview: “If Julian Assange is convicted, it will be a death sentence for freedom of the press. Because if investigative journalism is classified as espionage and can be incriminated around the world, then censorship and tyranny will follow”.

As a journalist, Julian Assange has only done his job. There was an overriding public interest in publishing the documents on WikiLeaks exposing war crimes in conflict zones.

The Human Rights Council cannot remain silent. Julian Assange like other journalists arbitrary detained around the world must be released as soon as possible.

Thank you for your attention.

Geneva, 10 March 2020

Source: PEC


Similar Posts