“A prosecution is when you use court proceedings to prosecute a crime. When you misuse judicial institutions to persecute, to silence a dissident who has committed no crime and you’re using the judicial machinery to silence him and to punish him, that’s persecution.”
This is how UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer describes to host Chip Gibbons the legal proceedings against Assange. Melzer was initially skeptical and reluctant to become involved in the Assange case. Yet, after he led a medical team to visit Assange in Belmarsh Prison he concluded Assange was a victim of psychological torture. As he continued to investigate the actions of multiple governments against Assange, his own initially negative views of the WikiLeaks publisher were dramatically altered.
As Melzer warns in his book The Trial of Julian Assange: A Story of Persecution, “We must not allow Assange’s persecutors to dictate his story, for those who suppress their own crimes and misconduct are unlikely to tell us the truth about a man who lifted the veil and exposed their corruption.”