Name? Nils Melzer
Westphalian identity? Switzerland
Why is he in the news? He is the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. And he published a report on the “torture” of Julian Assange.
Why do we care? His reports on the treatment of Assange are exposing shocking methods by the US government with the help of Sweden and the UK.
Why should you care? Because governments are actively trying everything to silence a whistleblower and make an example of him. With methods that are more than questionable. Regardless of what you think of Assange, it is scary to witness what state machines are willing to do if you rub them the wrong way. It might happen to you one day.
Who else cares? Every person who works for governments or knows about governments wrongdoing and thinking about making this public.
Any further comments? Whistleblowers, just like the media, are an important part of democracy, and even non-democracies, as can be seen in the case of Li Wenliang. It is absolutely essential that wrongdoings by governments are reported to the public. Donald Trump just fired Alexander Vindman, one of the witnesses in the impeachment trial for testifying before congress. Does anyone believe that civil servants will willingly step forward next time they see crimes being committed in The White House? No, we neither.