Europe| Julian Assange ‘Could Pass Away’ in U.K. Jail, Physicians Caution
LONDON– The psychological and physical condition of Julian Assange has so deteriorated that he might pass away in a British prison prior to his February hearing on extradition to the United States, a group of international medical professionals has warned.
In an open letter to Britain’s house secretary, Priti Patel, more than 60 physicians required Mr. Assange, the 48- year-old founder of WikiLeaks, to be transferred from the high-security Belmarsh jail in London to a university mentor hospital to receive a professional medical evaluation.
” Were such urgent assessment and treatment not to take place, we have genuine concerns, on the proof currently available, that Mr. Assange might die in prison,” the letter stated. “The medical circumstance is thereby urgent. There is no time to lose.”
Their evaluation is based on witness accounts from an October hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, in which Mr. Assange was referred to as “exhibiting the signs of an abuse victim.” The analysis was supported this month by Nils Melzer, the United Nations unique rapporteur on torture, who wrote a report about Mr. Assange’s health, alerting that his life was at risk.
” What we have actually seen from the U.K. federal government is outright contempt for Mr. Assange’s rights and integrity,” Mr. Melzer wrote in the report. “Regardless of the medical seriousness of my appeal, and the severity of the alleged offenses, the U.K. has not undertaken any measures of investigation, prevention and redress needed under worldwide law.”
The doctors’ letter explains how, for many years, Mr. Assange was threatened with arrest if he left the Ecuadorean Embassy in London to look for treatment for a series of ailments, consisting of a broken molar and shoulder stiffness.
In 2015, a trauma and psychosocial specialist who evaluated Mr. Assange’s condition at the embassy concluded that he was suffering from moderately serious depression.
Mr. Assange is serving a 50- week jail sentence for jumping bail, imposed after he took haven in Ecuador’s Embassy seven years ago. He deals with espionage charges in the United States for publishing classified military and diplomatic files.
Last week, the Swedish authorities dropped a long-running investigation into a rape claims versus Mr. Assange after prosecutors concluded that excessive time had actually expired considering that the occasions in question.
Richard Galpin, a BBC reporter present at Mr. Assange’s court hearing in October, explained the WikiLeaks creator as “frail- looking” and said Mr. Assange had actually struggled to bear in mind when he was born.
Medical professionals who performed medical evaluations on Mr. Assange in 2015 while he was in the Ecuadorean Embassy cautioned that his time there was “dangerous to his physical and mental health” and a “clear infringement to his human right to healthcare.”
The doctors who signed the open letter to Ms. Patel today said they had actually done so out of an expert duty to report believed torture.
” We want to put on record, as medical doctors, our cumulative major issues and to draw the attention of the general public and the world to this grave scenario,” they composed.