UN Special Rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer has said that on the 31st of May he gave video interviews with both Sky News and the BBC on his findings that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is the victim of psychological torture. As of this writing, footage of those interviews is nowhere to be found.
In response to a smear by virulent empire propagandist Idrees Ahmad about his conducting an interview with RT, Melzer tweeted that he has given interviews to both Sky News and BBC World, but that they seem not to have been aired.
"So the UN rapporteur actually appeared on the Kremlin's premier propaganda network—yes, the propaganda network of the state that shoots journalists in the face—to discuss Julian Assange's 'torture'," tweeted Ahmad, pretending to be under the illusion that UN experts are meant to remain exclusively loyal to a specific group of nations.
"For the record: On 31 May, I have also given similar exclusive TV interviews to both Sky News and BBC World on Julian Assange, but it seems they decided not to broadcast them," Melzer responded.
Indeed, there is as of this writing no video footage to be found anywhere of Melzer's interviews with either of these outlets. If you search for online video footage of Nils Melzer conducting interviews on this subject, you'll find videos from RT and Ruptly, you'll find his excellent interview on Democracy Now which we discussed recently, but you won't find videos from BBC World or Sky News, nor any record of any video interviews ever having been aired.
So appears that these interviews were never aired at all, or, if they were aired, have had any record of them hidden from easy online visibility. In any case, this is a big deal. The BBC published one print article that contains a few small excerpts from a discussion with Melzer, but in terms of impact and quantity of information this comes nowhere close to a televised interview and online video footage.
The idea that anyone from the UN should only be giving interviews to western media outlets is of course ridiculous, and it's made even more ridiculous by the fact that Melzer has been wide open to speaking with any platform that's willing to circulate his findings, including my own.
"I stand ready to respond to uncomfortable questions, but then media must also stand ready to publish uncomfortable truths," Melzer told me via Twitter when asked about the missing footage. He said the interviews were conducted with BBC World and Sky News via Skype, and lasted about five minutes each.