- Julian Assange is emaciated and incoherent just seven weeks into his year-long sentence in a UK prison, WikiLeaks has said.
- Assange, already in poor health from a near seven-year exile in Ecuador’s London Embassy, has “continued to deteriorate” and “has dramatically lost weight,” WikiLeaks said in a statement.
- HMP Belmarsh Prison moved Assange to its health ward within the last two weeks, WikiLeaks said, which “speaks for itself.”
- They added that his current mental state made it “not possible to conduct a normal conversation with him.”
- Assange was set to appear via video link at a hearing over his possible extradition to the US on Thursday, but is too ill to do so.
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Julian Assange is incoherent and has “dramatically lost weight” during his incarceration at Britain’s Belmarsh Prison, WikiLeaks said.
“During the seven weeks in Belmarsh his health has continued to deteriorate and and he has dramatically lost weight,” WikiLeaks said in a statement posted to Twitter on Thursday.
According to WikiLeaks Assange was in such a poor state of health on Friday “it was not possible to conduct a normal conversation with him.”
Assange, who was arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London on April 11, was sentenced to 50 weeks in HMP Belmarsh Prison on May 1 for breaking bail conditions.
The arrest came after Ecuador terminated Assange’s asylum over a string of allegations that he abused staff, smeared his faeces on the walls, and insulted Ecuador.
During his self-imposed exile, doctors found Assange was exhibiting clear signs of depression, PTSD, anxiety, and mania.
Business Insider understands Assange was moved the health ward at least two weeks ago. The UK’s Department of Justice did not offer comment.
WikiLeaks said: “The decision of prison authorities to move him to the health ward speaks for itself.”
Business Insider also understands Assange is eating normally (the same meals as the rest of the prisoners) at Belmarsh.
On May 23, a 17-count US Department of Justice indictment accused Assange of obtaining and disclosing national defence information about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
He was also charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion by the US in April, bringing the total number of charges to 18.
The DOJ has been investigating Assange since 2010.
WikiLeaks say Assange will get 175 years in jail if the US extradite him. The extradition request will be considered in Westminster Magistrates Court in London on Thursday.
Assange was set to appear via video link at the hearing, but is too ill to do so, Reuters reported. “He’s not very well,” Judge Emma Arbuthnot said.
Sweden are also trying to extradite Assange to face two allegations of rape from 2010. Assange denies the claims.
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