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UN's torture expert condemns persecution of Julian Assange as efforts to free journalist ramp up ahead of G7 summit

UN's torture expert condemns persecution of Julian Assange as efforts to free journalist ramp up ahead of G7 summit | 6 June 2021 | 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."