60 Doctors Say Assange's Medical Situation Is Dire

They want him moved to a hospital for an assessment
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2019 8:27 AM CST
60 Doctors Warn Ailing Assange 'Could Die in Prison'
In this Wednesday, May 1, 2019 file photo, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is taken from court, where he appeared on charges of jumping British bail seven years ago, in London.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

In May, Julian Assange's attorney said the WikiLeaks founder was "far from well," so much so that he wasn't healthy enough to make court appearances via video link. Six months later, some 60-plus doctors are making an even more dire pronouncement. In a 16-page open letter sent to British Home Secretary Priti Patel, they write that they have "serious concerns" about Assange's physical and mental health and that those concerns extend to his ability to appear at a full extradition hearing slated for February, reports the AFP. The doctors—who hail from eight countries, including the US—want Assange transferred from London's Belmarsh prison to a university teaching hospital, where they request that an "urgent" and "expert" physical and psychological assessment take place.

The AP reports the letter details issues that include depression, dental problems, and pain in his right shoulder. Then, the biggest lines: "Were such urgent assessment and treatment not to take place, we have real concerns, on the evidence currently available, that Mr. Assange could die in prison. The medical situation is thereby urgent. There is no time to lose." They reached their conclusions via the observations of others, including the "harrowing eyewitness accounts" from an Oct. 21 court appearance in which the 48-year-old seemed confused and said he couldn't "think properly" and a Nov. 1 report by the UN's special rapporteur on torture that also expressed concern for Assange's life. CBS News reports the letter, which can be read in full here, was disseminated by WikiLeaks. (Read more Julian Assange stories.)

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