Involuntary confinement in Ecuador’s London embassy for nearly seven years, compounded by his unlawful arrest and isolation under appalling conditions in Britain’s Gitmo, gravely harmed Assange’s physical and emotional health.
In cahoots with the Trump regime, Britain is killing him slowly, Sweden complicit in the assault on his rights and well-being by demanding his extradition on phony rape and sexual abuse charges.
In May 2017, its public prosecution director, Marianne Ny, dropped an arrest warrant, saying she’d no longer pursue rape, unlawful coercion, and sexual molestation charges against him because no evidence suggests it’s warranted.
US/UK pressure to reopen the case got Swedish authorities to be part of his crucifixion, its ruling authorities going along like a tinpot dictatorship, the same way Washington, Britain, and other Western countries operate—doing what they please extrajudicially.
Last July, Australian lawyer Greg Barns, involved in providing legal services for Assange, explained that being unable to get proper medical treatment for half a dozen years took a serious toll on his health.
“If there is not a resolution to his case—in other words, the UK guaranteeing that he will not be extradited to the US—the reality is Julian’s health will deteriorate to the point where his life is in serious danger,” he stressed, adding, “This is a cruel and inhumane stance from a government professing to be a liberal democracy”—governed like a fascist dictatorship.
In January 2018, physician Sondra Crosby affiliated with Boston University’s School of Medicine and Public Health along with London-based clinical psychologist Brock Chisholm examined Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy.
In an article published in the London Guardian, they and physician Sean Love said “he badly needs care but can’t get it,” adding, “As clinicians with a combined experience of four decades caring for and about refugees and other traumatized populations, we recently spent 20 hours, over three days, performing a comprehensive physical and psychological evaluation of Mr Assange.”
“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.”
“At the embassy, there are none of the diagnostic tests, treatments and procedures that we have concluded he needs urgently.”
In 2016, the UN Human Rights Council described his confinement in Ecuador’s London embassy as a state of “arbitrary deprivation of liberty”—prohibited by the Geneva Conventions, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as other international humanitarian law.
Crosby, Chisholm, and Love called it “unconscionable that Mr Assange (had to) decide between avoiding arrest and potentially suffering the health consequences, including death, if a life-threatening crisis such as a heart attack were to occur.”
Protracted involuntary confinement took “a considerable toll” on his well-being. “It is our professional opinion that Mr Assange’s physical and psychological circumstances at the embassy are in violation of the spirit of the UN standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners.”
Punished by brutalizing solitary confinement in London’s Belmarsh prison since April 11 is all about inflicting greater harm on his physical and emotional well-being.
According to Swedish attorney Per Samuelson representing him, his “health situation [is] such that [it’s] not possible to conduct a normal conversation with him.”
He urged that his case in Sweden “be postponed until [he] had time to meet again and go through the issues in peace and quiet.”
He “suggested no specific date and meant it should be postponed until everything was ready, but the district court has now decided that this won’t happen”—despite his physical inability to defend himself.
Because of his dire state, he was transferred to Belmarsh’s hospital wing, Samuelson said. It’s unclear what’s being done for him.
Medical care in US prisons is notoriously abysmal, the same likely true for Britain, especially for political prisoners like Assange, going all out to mistreat them.
In early May, WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson said Assange is confined to a cell 23 hours a day under “appalling” conditions, intended to devastate his body and spirit.
“We are hearing that the situation in Belmarsh prison…is appalling because of austerity and cutbacks,” Hrafnsson explained.
UK authorities in cahoots with the Trump regime are waging a “war of attrition, psychological warfare” on him. So did Ecuador’s Lenin Moreno, doing everything “to make [his] life miserable.”
“I am absolutely convinced that the struggle for Julian Assange’s freedom is the biggest struggle for press freedom we have experienced so far in the 21st century,” Hrafnsson stressed.
The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and most other US media are silent on Assange’s brutalizing mistreatment and deteriorating health.
On Tuesday, WaPo turned truth on its head, saying his “case does not herald a new assault on the press.”
False charges against him are all about assaulting speech, media, and academic freedoms, wanting hard truths about US high crimes of war, against humanity, and other wrongdoing suppressed.
The crucifixion of Assange and re-imprisonment of Chelsea Manning indicate more of the same to come—all truth-telling journalists and whistleblowers endangered.
That’s what totalitarian rule is all about, in the US, Britain, France, Germany, and other Western countries, heading toward full-blown tyranny—the charade of democratic rule exposed for everyone paying attention to see.
A final comment
On Wednesday, WikiLeaks confirmed that Assange was moved to the “health ward” of Britain’s Gitmo, saying the following: “…Assange’s health had already significantly deteriorated after seven years inside the [London] Ecuadorian embassy, under conditions…incompatible with basic human rights.
“During seven weeks in Belmarsh (prison since April 11), his health has continued to deteriorate and he has dramatically lost weight.”
His dire health made it “not possible to conduct a normal conversation with him…Julian’s case is of major historic significance.”
“It will be remembered as the worst attack on press freedom in our lifetime.”
UK authorities in cahoots with the Trump regime are killing him slowly. Unless things change, he won’t likely survive the state-sponsored slow torture he’s enduring—a high crime against humanity according to Nuremberg Principles.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.