Nils Melzer on the Psychological Torture of Assange & the importance of Individual Action

Nils Melzer Julian Assange
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Nils Melzer on the Psychological Torture of Assange & the importance of Individual Action


(Aufgrund limitierter finanzieller Mittel stehen manche Videos ggf. derzeit nur auf Englisch zur Verfügung.)


In this interview with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture & Professor of international law at the University of Glasgow, Nils Melzer, we talk about how the U.S. & U.K governments are psychologically torturing Julian Assange and how it is affecting his health. In addition we examine how member states such as Germany have responded to Melzer’s report on the psychological torture of Julian Assange. Lastly we discuss the importance of transparency and why it is a vital ingredient for individual action.

This interview was recorded on the 4th of February 2020 at the Royal National Hotel in London after the public rally for Julian Assange that was organized by the “Don’t Extradite Assange Campaign.”


VIDEO: Nils Melzer on the Psychological Torture of Assange & the importance of Individual Action


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ABOUT NILS MELZER

Bio via: www.ohchr.org

Nils Melzer BioProf. Nils Melzer is the Human Rights Chair of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. He is also Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow. On 1 November 2016, he took up the function of UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Prof. Melzer has served for 12 years with the International Committee of the Red Cross as a Legal Adviser, Delegate and Deputy Head of Delegation in various zones of conflict and violence. After leaving the ICRC in 2011, he held academic positions as Research Director of the Swiss Competence Centre on Human Rights (University of Zürich), as Swiss Chair for International Humanitarian Law (Geneva Academy) and as Senior Fellow for Emerging Security Challenges (Geneva Centre for Security Policy), and has represented civil society in the Steering Committee of the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers.

In the course of his career, Prof. Melzer has also served as Senior Security Policy Adviser to the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, has carried out advisory mandates for influential institutions such as the United Nations, the European Union, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Swiss Federal Department of Defence, and has regularly been invited to provide expert testimonies, including to the UN First Committee, the UN CCW, the UNSG Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters, and various Parliamentary Commissions of the European Union, Germany and Switzerland.

Prof. Melzer has authored award-winning and widely translated books, including: “Targeted Killing in International Law” (Oxford, 2008, Guggenheim Prize 2009), the ICRC’s “Interpretive Guidance on the Notion of Direct Participation in Hostilities” (2009) and the ICRC’s official handbook “International Humanitarian Law – a Comprehensive Introduction” (2016), as well as numerous other publications in the field of international law. In view of his expertise in new technologies, Prof. Melzer has been mandated by the EU Parliament to author a legal and policy study on “Human Rights Implications of the Usage of Drones and Robots in Warfare” (2013) and has also co-authored the NATO CCDCOE “Tallinn Manual on the International Law applicable to Cyber Warfare” (Cambridge, 2013), and the NATO MCDC “Policy Guidance Autonomy in Defence Systems”, (NATO ACT, 2014).

Throughout his career, Prof. Melzer has fought to preserve human dignity and the rule of law through the relentless promotion, reaffirmation and clarification of international legal standards offering protection to those exposed to armed conflicts and other situations of violence.


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  1. Ein sehr gutes Interview mit Nils Melzer. Beschämend, dass die Bundesregierung so sehr mit sich beschäftigt ist, das sie solche exemplarischen Verletzungen der Menschenrechte beiseite schiebt. Es gibt nur noch eines, was ich schlimmer finde. Die Bundesregierung unterstützt die Asylprüfung von Flüchtlingen in Libyen, in dem sie die möglichen Kandidaten nach Ruanda und Niger ausfliegt. Nur wenige erhalten die Chance zur Einreise in die EU. Als ob diese Menschen auf ihrer Flucht nicht inzwischen oft genug traumatisiert worden sind . Darunter sind tausende von Kindern und Jugendlichen. Den einzigen Schutz bietet momentan das UNHCR-Lager in Tripolis, aber auch dort häufen sich die Übergriffe von Milizen auf die Geflüchteten.
    Noch ein Thema von großer Brisanz in der Zukunft: Künstliche Intelligenz. Ein erstklassiger Gesprächspartner ist Prof Markus Gabriel von der Uni Bonn, weil er allgemeinverständlich formulieren kann und Risiken und Chancen wirklich durchdacht hat. Er hat zusammen mit Kollegen einen Verhaltenscodex für KI erstellt.

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