Julian Assange’s stay in the Ecuadorian embassy in London is reportedly having a ‘dangerous’ impact on his physical and mental health.
According to The Guardian, clinicians who carried out his most recent assessments have voiced a concern that the WikiLeaks founder’s situation could result in serious consequences, ‘including death’.
Sondra Crosby, a doctor at Boston University and Brock Chisholm, a London-based consultant clinical psychologist, examined Assange over 20 hours spread over three days in October.
It is unconscionable that Mr Assange is in the position of having to decide between avoiding arrest and potentially suffering the health consequences, including death, and the need to call an ambulance if a life-threatening crisis such as a heart attack were to occur.
Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy since June 2012, and since that time, there have been a bunch of reports about his deteriorating health, including a lung problem and a ‘serious shoulder issue’ which requires an MRI scan.
Obviously, he can’t go to hospital to receive medical attention for these conditions, and it is impossible to get such specialist equipment into the embassy to treat him there.
Assange’s constant place in the Ecuadorian embassy is also bringing up many more health problems which he didn’t have before entering the building.
The doctors wrote:
Further, our assessment reveals that he has no access to sunlight, appropriate ventilation or outside space for over five and a half years. This has taken a considerable physical as well as psychological toll.
The UK even refused a request to allow Assange safe passage for hospital treatment, which means if he did leave now, he would be arrested and would face extradition to the US.
The doctors wrote:
While the results of the evaluation are protected by doctor-patient confidentiality, it is our professional opinion that his continued confinement is dangerous physically and mentally to him and a clear infringement of his human right to healthcare.
The doctors urged the British Medical Associate and colleagues in the UK to petition access to medical care for Assange, on the basis of human rights grounds.
The details of Assange’s condition were revealed to The Guardian with express permission from Assange himself.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Ecuador’s foreign minister has said Julian Assange’s stay in the Ecuador embassy is ‘untenable’, and steps should be taken to end the current situation.
Maria Fernanda Espinosa, said her country was looking for a ‘third country or personality’ to try and mediate an agreement with the UK to end the situation.
No solution will be achieved without international cooperation and the cooperation of the Uniter Kingdom, which has also shown interest in seeking a way out.
Julian Assange’s lawyer expressed an interest in Ecuador’s proposal, saying the US persecution of the WikiLeaks founder had ‘escalated’ in recent months as a result of Trump’s ‘war on WikiLeaks’.
Despite these continued pleas, The UK government is still outwardly unwilling to resolve the situation in any other way than to arrest Assange.