American justice

Is Julian Assange on a hiding to nothing?

A question looms throughout this book: is it better to die rather than experience the wrath of a publicly shamed America? The story begins in 2018 when Nils Melzer, a UN Special Rapporteur on torture, received an email: ‘Julian Assange is seeking your protection.’ Melzer’s office receives approximately 50 requests for help each week, and he was initially dismissive of this one. He believed the founder of WikiLeaks was ‘hiding out in an embassy somewhere because of rape allegations’. A few months later, Assange’s lawyers made contact again. This time Melzer read the documents forwarded to him and changed his mind: ‘I began to wake up to my own prejudice.’