Julian Assange’s fiancé, Stella Moris, announced yesterday that Mr. Assange had a “mini-stroke” on October 27, the first day of his latest extradition hearing, according to the Daily Mail. He was reportedly ‘left with a drooping right eyelid, memory problems and signs of neurological damage.’
This dangerous deterioration of Mr. Assange’s health underscores urgent concerns raised by Doctors for Assange over the past two years. Therefore, once again, Doctors for Assange calls for Mr. Assange to be released from prison so he can access consistent, high quality, independent medical care – something which is impossible for him to obtain in Belmarsh prison. We reiterate that Mr. Assange is in no condition to undergo an extradition trial. Further, extraditing him to the harsh conditions of the inhumane US prison system should be out of the question. He should therefore be immediately and permanently released from prison.
This latest medical emergency adds to the already dire state of Mr. Assange’s health owing to his prolonged psychological torture. This includes eleven years of arbitrary detention, medical neglect, solitary confinement, obstruction of access to his lawyers, and an Orwellian legal prosecution that has violated the rule of law and due process:
- key accusations in the US indictment against Mr. Assange are marred by outright lies and a paucity of fact;
- he and his legal team have been surveilled by the CIA; and
- Mr. Assange has been targeted by the agency in a plan to kidnap and assassinate him.
Throughout, Mr. Assange has been subjected to concerted character assassination through propaganda campaigns in mainstream media across the globe.
Assurances that Mr. Assange will not be subjected to harsh prison conditions by the very agency that has been plotting to kidnap and assassinate him are farcical. For the High Court to accept such a ludicrous proposition, describing the assurances as “solemn undertakings offered by one government to another”, calls into serious question the independence, impartiality and integrity of the UK judiciary.
The health of Mr. Assange and the health of our democracy, which depends on a free press and judicial integrity, are both in serious jeopardy. This shameful and deeply damaging case should be dropped now, and Julian Assange granted his long overdue freedom.