03:14 GMT +319 September 2019
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    Demonstrators protest outside of Westminster Magistrates Court, where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange had a U.S. extradition request hearing, in London, Britain May 2, 2019

    Assange Has No Chance at Fair Treatment by UK Officials - WikiLeaks Chief Editor

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said that UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt's dismissal of a UN report establishing that Assange was a victim of "psychological torture" campaign proved that the journalist had no chance at getting impartial treatment from the UK authorities.

    "Hunt's dismissal did not just confirm the UN's findings that the UK gov had been complicit in creating 'an atmosphere of impunity encouraging Mr. Assange's uninhibited vilification and abuse,' it also showed once again that Assange has no chance of fair and impartial treatment," Hrafnsson said on Monday in a published statement.

    The chief editor also stressed that Hunt's claims about Assange possibly causing people to die were incorrect since US military officials had said the opposite under oath during the trial of former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

    READ MORE: Theresa May's Potential Successor Says He Won't Block Assange's US Extradition

    The remarks come after Hunt said on Sunday that Assange was "alleged to have committed some very serious crimes, alleged to have led to people's deaths" and affirmed that he would not block Assange's extradition to the United States despite an earlier call by a UN rapporteur to stop the collective persecution of the Australian-born whistleblower.

    After visiting Assange in London's high-security Belmarsh prison on 31 May, UN Special Rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer said that the prominent whistleblower had for years been "deliberately exposed… to progressively severe forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the cumulative effects of which can only be described as psychological torture." The UN official also urged the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Ecuador to stop their "collective persecution" of Assange.

    Assange was arrested in London on 11 April and sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for jumping bail back in 2012, when he claimed asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in the UK capital to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where he faced sexual assault charges, and possibly being sent to the United States after that.

    If extradited to the United States, where he is wanted on espionage charges, the whistleblower may face up to 175 years in prison.

    In Sweden, Assange could face the reopened rape case against him, but a Swedish court on Monday rejected the prosecution's request for his arrest in absentia.

    Related:

    Theresa May's Potential Successor Says He Won't Block Assange's US Extradition
    London Court to Hold Second Hearing on Julian Assange on Thursday
    SEP Slams Liberal Press & MPs in Europe, US Over Backing Assange's Extradition
    Tags:
    prison, espionage, WikiLeaks, UN, Julian Assange, United States, United Kingdom
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