Available for pre-order. This item will be available on February 8, 2022.
In July 2010, WikiLeaks published the ‘Afghan War Diary’, one of the biggest leaks in US military history, including evidence for war crimes and torture. Shortly afterwards, Sweden investigated WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for rape and a secret grand jury in the US investigated him for espionage. When both Sweden and Britain refused to guarantee that Assange would not be extradited to the US, he sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he stayed for the next seven years.
When Ecuador finally turned him over to Britain in 2019, the US immediately demanded his extradition and threatened him with 175 years in prison. Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, initially declined to get involved. Only when he visited Assange in prison and researched the facts did he begin to see through the deception and recognize the case for what it really was: the story of a political persecution.
Melzer’s findings are explosive: in all four states involved, Assange has faced grave and systematic due process violations, judicial bias, and manipulated evidence. He has been exposed to constant surveillance, defamation and threats. Melzer also gathered consolidated medical evidence proving that Assange has suffered prolonged psychological torture. Melzer’s compelling investigation shows how—through secrecy, impunity and, crucially, public indifference—unchecked power risks annihilating Western democracy and the rule of law. The case of Julian Assange sets a chilling precedent: for when telling the truth has become a crime, we will all be living in a tyranny.
“This is a landmark book, the first by a senior international official to call out the criminality of Western governments, and their craven media echoes, in the persecution of Julian Assange. Mark the word, persecution, says Nils Melzer, as well as ‘our’ responsibility for the ravages inflicted on an heroic man for telling forbidden truths and on democracy itself.”