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Independent UN expert calls for Julian Assange’s release, cites prison’s COVID outbreak

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“Mr. Assange is not a criminal convict and poses no threat to anyone, so his prolonged solitary confinement in a high security prison is neither necessary nor proportionate and clearly lacks any legal basis”, said Nils Melzer, UN Special Rapporteur on torture.

The WikiLeaks founder has been detained since 2010 after his site published classified diplomatic information. A decision on extradition to the US is expected early in the new year.

Inhumane punishment

The UN expert made the call amidst reports that 65 of some 160 Belmarsh inmates have contracted the coronavirus, including a number in the wing where Mr. Assange is being held.

Painting a picture of progressively severe suffering inflicted on Mr. Assange from his prolonged solitary confinement, the Special Rapporteur upheld that it not only amounts to arbitrary detention, but also to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Moreover, given his pre-existing medical condition, Mr. Melzer expressed particular concern about COVID-19 exposure.

“Prison decongestion measures seen around the world in response to COVID-19 should be extended to all inmates whose imprisonment is not absolutely necessary”, the Special Rapporteur said. “First and foremost, alternative non-custodial measures should be extended to those with specific vulnerabilities, such as Mr. Assange, who suffers from a pre-existing respiratory health condition”.

A history of deprivation

In an opinion rendered in December 2015, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found that since his arrest on 7 December 2010, Mr. Assange had been subjected to various forms of arbitrary deprivation of liberty, including 10 days in London’s Wandsworth prison; 550 days of house arrest; and almost seven years of self-confinement in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, under threat of arrest if he left the building.

Moreover, since April 2019, Mr. Assange has been held in near total isolation at Belmarsh.

“The British authorities initially detained Mr. Assange on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by Sweden in connection with allegations of sexual misconduct that have since been formally dropped due to lack of evidence”, said Mr. Melzer.

“Today, he is detained for exclusively preventative purposes, to ensure his presence during the ongoing US extradition trial, a proceeding which may well last several years”.

A call for freedom

Against the backdrop of significant risks associated with his continued imprisonment and concerns over his treatment and conditions of detention, the UN expert reiterated previous appeals that Mr. Assange be immediately released or placed under guarded house arrest.

“Mr. Assange’s rights have been severely violated for more than a decade”, asserted the Special Rapporteur. “He must now be allowed to live a normal family, social and professional life, to recover his health and to adequately prepare his defence against the US extradition request pending against him”.

The expert also reiterated his call to the British authorities not to extradite him to the US due to serious human rights concerns.

Special Rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a specific human rights theme or a country situation. The experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.

Read from source: https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/12/1079542

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Emily in Paris Fans Think Kim Cattrall Will Make an Appearance in Season 3

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instyle– Fans are speculating a major pop-culture crossover in season 3 of Emily in Paris. After Kim Cattrall infamously turned down the chance to revive her Sex and the City character, Samantha Jones, for the rebootfans couldn’t help but wonder if Jones could make an appearance in the next season of the cult-favorite Netflix show.

If you’re watching And Just Like That … (and even if you’re not), you know that Cattrall’s character is supposedly off working her public relationships magic in London, England, just a quick trip from Emily (Lily Collins) and her booming marketing firm, Savoir.

RELATED: Everything You Need to Know About Emily in Paris Season 2

Fans noticed major parallels between the characters, from their location to their sex positivity to their career in communications. Plus, both series were created by big-time Hollywood producer Darren Star — with SATC costume designer Patricia Field now responsible for Emily’s kitschy, Parisian looks — making a collab that much more believable.

One Twitter user wrote, “Current theory: Samantha has supposedly moved overseas, hence her lack of presence in the new SATC TV series. Then she shows up by total surprise in a crossover episode of EMILY IN PARIS. I would watch Samantha try to tolerate Emily, 100 percent.”

Collins fueled the flames by teasing a possible season 3. The actress posted photographs from her Vogue Hong Kong cover featuring a jet-black shag haircut and dark makeup writing, “Season 3 pivot?? Who’s with me? …” Collins used the same caption when reposting a fan’s Tweet with the magazine images that read, “Emily in Berlin.”

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Women Who Work Outside Road-Tested the Season’s Cutest Winter Coats

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If you’re in the market for a new winter coat, there’s no shortage of options out there. Fuzzy, puffy, water resistant, bright — whatever you want, a quick Google search will surely lead you to something that promises to be top-notch. But will it actually be warm and stand up to the elements? Ehh…that’s not always a guarantee. Some coats photograph well but turn out to be flimsier, breezier, or less precipitation-proof than they look.

This season, though, InStyle.com decided to take some of that risk out of the equation. We wanted honest coat reviews — ones that told us something that wasn’t in the product description. So, we recruited the help of five ‘cold professionals,’ AKA women who work outside as part of their job. We gave them one of the coats we’d been coveting, had them walk around in it for about an hour (while we snapped photos, of course), and then asked them questions to determine its overall rating, which accounts for warmth but also coolness.

Thankfully, this crew didn’t hold back and shared some solid advice for those wondering what jacket is really worth their money this winter.

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Skims Isn’t Always Sold Out: These Thermal Leggings Are Available in Practically All Sizes Right Now

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Of the many fashion and beauty lines that members of the Kardashian/Jenner clan have launched over the past few years, Kim Kardashian West’s Skims is undoubtedly one of the family’s biggest hits. Since its debut in 2019, the shapewear and loungewear brand has won rave reviews (and earned a whole lot of money) for its comfortable styles and inclusive sizing, and so it’s no wonder that its products often sell out super quickly. If you’ve been dying to try some items out for yourself but haven’t gotten the chance just yet, we’ve got good news: Skims Cotton Rib Thermal Leggings are available at Nordstrom in so many colors and size options right now.

For anyone not familiar with thermal leggings, they’re the best during winter (or any day when the AC is on too high, if we’re being real). They’re designed to retain your body heat and keep you warm, and the best ones do so while still being light enough to allow your skin to breathe. Skims’ thermal leggings are made with ribbed stretch cotton that hugs close to the body, yet doesn’t feel suffocating.

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