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UN Special Rapporteur on Torture: “Authorities Are Viewing Their Own People as an Enemy”

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture: “Authorities Are Viewing Their Own People as an Enemy”

Professor to lead investigation of police brutality against anti-lockdown protesters.

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer responded to police brutality dished out to anti-lockdown protesters in Germany last weekend by warning, “Authorities are increasingly viewing their own people as an enemy.”

As we highlighted earlier in the week, Melzer, a professor of international law, made a request for eyewitnesses after footage emerged of numerous examples of people being manhandled and beaten by police in Berlin merely for expressing their right to assemble.

One clip showed a female anti-lockdown protester in Berlin being grabbed by the throat and brutally thrown to the ground by riot police, while another showed a young boy being struck in the face as he tried to come to the aid of his mother.

The response to Melzer’s request was overwhelming, with over a hundred reports of violence flooding in, leaving him with the task of “calling for clarification as well as punishment and reparation for rule violations,” reports Berliner Zeitung.

The professor says there is clearly enough evidence “for an official intervention on my part with the federal government.”

However, it was Melzer’s comments on the wider perspective of the crackdown that stirred the most interest.

After seeing similar scenes during anti-lockdown protests in European cities across the continent, as well as “police operations in demonstrations worldwide,” Melzer came to a sobering conclusion.

“Something fundamental is going wrong. In all regions of the world, the authorities are apparently increasingly viewing their own people as an enemy,” he stated.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

WATCH: ‘The Trial of Julian Assange: Implications for Press Freedom’

WATCH: ‘The Trial of Julian Assange: Implications for Press Freedom’

Watch CN Live!‘s simulcast on Sunday of the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee’s production of Nils Melzer & Ray McGovern discussing the Julian Assange case and its impact on press freedom.

Watch the replay: 

Nils Melzer is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow, and holds the Human Rights Chair at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. Ray McGovern is a former, longtime CIA Russia analyst, presidential daily briefer, and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

Julian Assange’s extradition trial ended at the Old Bailey in September. More than 30 witnesses for the defense included Daniel Ellsberg and Noam Chomsky; the prosecutors declared standard journalistic practices to be crimes; and the judge cut the feed to all monitoring NGOs on the first day. Judge Vanessa Baraitser on Jan. 4 blocked Assange’s extradition to the U.S. but two days later denied him bail and sent the WikiLeaks‘ publisher to Belmarsh prison.
Forum Host: Ann Batiza

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