British socialite faces trial in New York on sex trafficking charges
Judges have denied Ms Maxwell bail on at least four occasions amid her complaints about the conditions she is kept in at a New York prison.
The petition to the the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention was filed by international criminal lawyers François Zimeray and Jessica Finelle on behalf of Ms Maxwell’s three sisters and three brothers, according to The New York Post.
The lawyers state that Ms Maxwell’s conditions inside the Metropolitan Detention Center Brooklyn are “abnormally rigorous.”
It asks the UN to call on the US government to release Jefrey Epstein’s former girlfriend and for an investigation into her “arbitrary detention.”
Ms Maxwell is accused of finding underage girls for Epstein to abuse from 1994 through 2004.
She has pleaded not guilty to all charges against her and is set to go on trial next week,
“She is awakened constantly at night and has been subjected, for the 500+ days of her detention, to a ‘suicide watch’ – completely inappropriate in the case of a non-suicidal person – involving a flashlight shone every 15 minutes on her face to check that she is breathing, literally preventing her from sleeping,” the petition states.
It says that she has claimed to have been inappropriately touched by guards during regular daily searches.
The petition also claims that Ms Maxwell will be unable to get a fair trial.
“Ghislaine Maxwell has been the subject of sustained and overwhelming media coverage, aimed at presenting her as the accomplice to the crimes alleged against Jeffrey Epstein, to the point that the certainty of her guilt is seen as clear-cut before any trial has taken place,” the petition adds.
“US Justice has not sought to resist or counter the extreme emotion of public opinion in this case as is its duty, and nor has it seized each and every opportunity to remind everyone that Ms Maxwell is presumed innocent or to enable her to respond and prepare for her trial freely and with dignity.”
Epstein killed himself in a New York prison cell in August 2019 as he awaited trial for sex trafficking.
Ms Maxwell was arrested at a luxurious home in New Hampshire in July 2020 and has been in custody ever since, with judges ruling that she remains a flight risk.