The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nils Melzer, said today that it is “problematic” if states do not follow the UN recommendations, referring directly to the fact that Spain has ignored the resolution of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions calling for the release of Catalan political prisoners.

Last September, the annual report of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions already recalled that Spain had not implemented its request to release seven of the nine Catalan political prisoners: Jordi Sànchez, Jordi Cuixart, Oriol Junqueras, Quim Forn, Josep Rull, Raül Romeva and Dolors Bassa.

The president of the UN Group, José Antonio Guevara, has insisted in the past on the release of those seven political prisoners and asked not to divert attention from this request, which he believed was ‘a most important issue’.

No fair trial for Assange 

Melzer is in Catalonia on the occasion of the Barcelona Film and Human Rights Festival opening, which will premiere the film The War on Journalism: The case of Julian Assange. Melzer has focused his intervention on the alleged psychological torture on Assange and said he had not had “any fair trial” in the legal proceedings so far.

The film, directed by Juan Luis Passarelli, tells the story of the Assange case, which will have a resolution on January 4, when the British judiciary decides whether to accept his extradition to the United States. In addition to assuring that he will not have a “fair resolution”, Melzer has denounced the creation of a “public narrative against Assange to criminalize the truth”.

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