Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks publisher, was sentenced to almost a year in prison by a British judge last week for bail violations.
The severity of the punishment for a minor offence underlines that the British authorities may be preparing to deliver Assange to the United States. He could face years in jail if sent there.
Wikileaks helped to expose Western war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, and revealed some of the lies that George Bush and Tony Blair used to justify mass murder.
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said it was deeply concerned about the “disproportionate” sentence last week.
It added, “The working group is further concerned that Mr Assange has been detained since 11 April 2019 in Belmarsh Prison, a high-security prison, as if he were convicted for a serious criminal offence.”
The sentencing came the day before the beginning of Assange’s extradition hearing to the US.
It is alleged he conspired with former US intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to download classified databases.
Manning spent seven years in jail and has recently been jailed again for refusing to name those who helped her.
Assange must not be sent to face the wrath of the US state. But he should answer to allegations of rape in Sweden if the women concerned wish the cases to be reopened.